Nick Cushing | "We Must Put In A Performance For The Fans."


Nick Cushing says his side must respect this weekend's opponents D.C. United as they look to produce another strong home performance at Yankee Stadium. 

The Boys in Blue secured their first win of the MLS Regular Season on Saturday after advancing past Inter Miami CF 1-0 - a first-half own goal proving the difference between the two sides. 

Next up for Cushing's side is a meeting with Wayne Rooney's D.C. United at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. The visitors hold an identical record to NYCFC, with one win, one draw, and one loss from their first three outings. 

The two sides will both be looking for a win at the weekend, with Cushing emphasizing the need for his side to put on a good show at home. 

"I think the way that we approach every game is to respect the opponent and look at their strengths," Cushing said.

"We want to make sure we're really aware of the areas where we can use our strengths. I've watched all of D.C.'s games and they've carried the ball for the majority of those games.

"Against Columbus, they had more of the ball. Against Toronto, they had more of the ball, and against Orlando, they had more of the ball.

"They're a really good team and they've really improved from last year. They've added some real experience and for us, it's about making sure that we know where they can be strong and where we can be strong.

"We're at home so we need to make sure we put in a performance for our fans."

Now three games into the campaign Cushing was able to provide an early assessment of his team's performances as they head into Saturday night, with the Head Coach pleased overall.

"I'm happy with major parts of the performance," he said. "There are a lot of areas we have to be better. I think in this stage of the season, it's going to flip at times.

"Our build-up play wasn't so great in the first half at Nashville. In the second half, we dominated the build-up but we didn't create chances.

"In Chicago, we started the game a lot better. Our low buildup was good and we created some chances and got into the final third, but we gave away a sloppy goal from a set play. Same in the Nashville game.

"In this game [against Miami], our pressing and our pressure was really good. It's not going to be the complete game yet because it's early in the season, but we have to strive for more consistency in all of the phases of our game and that will give us more chance of winning football games."

The City Head Coach was also full of praise for Matías Pellegrini in the wake of Saturday's win against Inter Miami. The forward was denied a goal by the offside flag - the only blemish on an otherwise fantastic performance. 

"He has been excellent throughout preseason and throughout the start of the season," Cushing said.

"I think I said last year he has an incredible work rate, he gives our squad balance because of the profile of player that he is.

"He played off the left when he played in the Miami team in their first season. He's played inside for us as a ten. He's played off the right because he can come inside and play as a left-footer.

"I think he gives our team balance and he gives us flexibility. I thought in this particular game, he played really well. His work rate that was exceptional. 

"He put out numbers that we've only seen in three individuals in our team over the last four, four seasons. He set the standard for us - particularly as an individual - we have to have that expectation for everybody.

"It's disappointing that the goal was disallowed because he's worked so hard in preseason I feel that he deserves a goal, but I think that's right around the corner.

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