New York City Football Club Interim Head Coach Nick Cushing believes his team must get back to being defensively solid.

The Boys in Blue have the second joint best defensive record in the Eastern Conference, but enter Wednesday’s game against Charlotte FC off the back of two defeats on the road. Speaking ahead of the game, Cushing stressed the need for the team to reset their mindset as they push toward being more defensively solid.

“We have to get back to being defensively solid,” Cushing said. “We’ve probably given away the kind of goals and chances that we feel we haven’t done in recent games where we’ve kept clean sheets. Home advantage is big and we know we’re going to be put under pressure in the away games. I think we’ve just got to get back on the training pitch, refocus, and reset our mindset.”

Wednesday’s game will also see Cushing go up against a familiar face in Christian Lattanzio. The Italian spent several seasons as an assistant coach with NYCFC following a similar spell with Manchester City. That saw him cross paths with Cushing, with the Englishman revealing he is well aware what to expect from his opposite number.

“I think ultimately he is a really good coach and a really good guy and someone I’m close with,” Cushing explained. “He will for sure play the style that he believes in – just like we do – and when I look at Charlotte that’s what I see. They’re a team that want the ball, they’re a team that want to play a positional game and let the ball move through the pitch and drag you in moments so they can create overloads. I think they’ve done that well this year, they’re a really well-coached team and that’s because he’s a really good coach.

“I think it’ll be a good game because he understands our methodology and we understand the way that he sees the game. I think the game will be really competitive. It’ll be two teams that want the ball and want to create chances through having possession of the ball.”