Nick Cushing | "We Have To Be Clinical." 

Nick PC

Nick Cushing has encouraged his side to be clinical during their meeting with Toronto.

NYCFC kicked off their Leagues Cup participation with a narrow defeat against Atlas on Sunday at Citi Field despite dominating proceedings. 

They will now face off against TFC on Wednesday aiming to bounce back and claim all three points. Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Cushing laid the path to success out for his players, and encouraged his side to take their chances. 

“I think we approach this game with the same level of performance based on our ability to apply our ideas and dominate the ball, control the opponent and minimize the opponent's goal chances,” Cushing said. 

“We have to be better on set play. When we reviewed the game the three goals – the goal and the other chances – came from set plays. 

“Albeit the other two goal chances weren't really clear chances they are still headers on frame. The first goal is disappointing, but if we get the same level of control in the game, then we have to be more clinical. 

“I think we're discussing all the way through our review of it and all the way through our training; if we create chances, we have to take them. 

“We have four really good chances in the game and many more opportunities. We have to be a team that sits with multiple goal chances, and then we can be clinical.”

Cushing was also full of praise for new signing Mounsef Bakrar after he made his NYCFC debut last time out.

The Algerian forward was introduced as a second half substitute against Atlas, and came close to scoring just minutes into his debut.

“I thought he looked lively,” Cushing said.

“You see the way he’s going to attack space, the energy he's going to give us. I think it's really positive that he came into a goal chance in the 10 minutes.

“We feel he should take it and he’ll be disappointed, but we have to be realistic. He travelled a long way through Thursday.

“He landed, trained with team once, so I can be a little bit patient in judging him on that moment, but a really exciting 10 minutes and one that gives us enthusiasm.”

The Club are still actively seeking to recruit new players before the transfer window closes. Cushing has welcomed Mounsef Bakrar and Birk Risa to the Club, but confirmed that the team's drive to add new faces is an ongoing situation.

"If we can't sustain the level of expectation that we have as a football club, then we will always try and improve on it, and that goes across everybody within the club, because we have high expectations," Cushing said.

"We're not where we are at the moment. Although we were disappointed that Gabriel Pereira expressed a want to take the opportunity for him in Qatar - for his personal reasons - we know that with the addition of Mounsef and Birk, and trying to add players - we're hopeful that we will continue to do it because there's still time.

"We're fully confident that the group that we will have, new players and existing players, can continue to push to improve our results."

Cushing also confirmed James Sands will miss the game due to concussion protocol.

"Training was really good today," Cushing said. "Everybody trained apart from James Sands who got a concussion in the Atlas game, so he is out of the game."

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