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New York City Football Club Interim Head Coach Nick Cushing has stressed the importance of maintaining possession ahead of their game with CF Montréal.

The Boys in Blue will head north this weekend for a meeting with CF Montréal at Stade Saputo on Saturday night. The clash sees two teams near the top of the Eastern Conference square off, with Cushing preaching the need to be protective of the ball against Wilfried Nancy’s side.

“They are really good team and really well coached,” Cushing said. “They’re a team that wants the ball, a team that wants to dominate the ball and drag you out by overloading with the back-three and two midfield players. They’re a team that once they drag you out they attack the space really well. We have to be really aware of their strengths, and we have to be really mindful of how we control the space offensively, and how we control the game by keeping possession of the ball because both teams will want the ball in this game.”

Elsewhere, Cushing also highlighted the threat Brazilian striker Héber can offer in the penalty area. The 30-year-old has managed an impressive six goals in 479 minutes in MLS this season, and will likely step in to the starting XI following the departure of Taty Castellanos to Girona FC earlier this week.

“I think for all of our players because we have a style, a method, a game model, it’s not about being a different player,” Cushing said. “It’s not about being a different player, of course the profile of each individual is different and Héber is different to Taty, but in those possession moments, we will ask him to come and link the game. In those moments when the ball is in the box we will ask him to make runs and make sure he can be on the end of chances and score goals.

“I think Héber has shown that he will make runs in the box and he's dangerous when the ball is in the box. He is really good at linking the game and he can score from crosses. Although they’re different profiles you won't see a huge difference in our style because we aim to play the same way every week.”