Nick Cushing has hailed the hard work of his players following their 3-0 win against Toronto FC.
The Boys in Blue went into Sunday's game unbeaten in four and knowing a victory could see them end the day above the playoff line. Goals from Andrés Perea, Andres Jasson, and Julián Fernández handed NYCFC a convincing 3-0 victory.
Speaking after the game, Cushing highlighted the team's improved chemistry and commitment to working hard, regardless of the result.
"It's a tough week when you have three games and there's a lot of mental energy involved with the position we're in," Cushing said. "We play a team that's free really. I knew the first goal would be important, I knew it would give us momentum."
He went on to add: I've said all along it's a young team, it's a fairly new team, and it's an even newer group after the summer transfer window.
"I think the team is growing every week playing with the profile of number nine we have in Mounsef Bakrar. I think Julián Fernandez is growing all the time, we managed to get Alonso Martinez on the field today.
"I think we're starting to build chemistry. Talles Magno has found form and I thought today he was excellent again. Although he didn't score the goal he was involved in a lot of the offensive play.
"I think [the success] is because they're just working. They're a really honest group of guys. I think they are trying and have tried to find ways of getting results and better performances every week. The team is working incredibly hard on the training field and I'm proud of that."
Sunday's game also brought the curtain down on a massive seven days for NYCFC.
City collected seven points from a possible nine thanks to wins against Orlando and Toronto and a tie against Red Bulls. That has helped them climb the table and into the playoff spots - handing them a major boost in their quest to be part of the postseason.
"Now we're in a position where we just have to get the job done," Cushing said.
"We have to make sure we get enough points to keep us in this position or jump one place higher. All we can do is concentrate on our games. We have two difficult road games now finishing with a home game. Over the last two games we got the job done, now we have to focus on the next one."
Cushing also encouraged his players to maintain the high standards set as they chase down more points.
"I think if this group keeps the standards high and it can take the goal chances we can create we will win football games," Cushing said.
"I get frustrated when we get loose. You can hear me shouting and screaming at the end of the game about the shape and the pressure at the front. To me, a clean sheet is high standards. I want to play offensive, attacking, football.
"What I don't want to be is a team that thinks it's ok to win 3-1 versus 3-0. I want to have high standards and pride. That's how I believe you build a proper team and we're going through that process.
"When we give the ball away cheaply from flicking it I get really frustrated [laughs] but it's part of having a team of young guys that enjoy the game. It's natural when you have the attacking flair we do."
Sign-up for MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app - and never miss a moment of the 2023 season. Stream every regular-season, playoff, and Leagues Cup match. Every Screen. No Blackouts.