Nick Cushing has revealed he knew substitute Gabe Segal would get ‘one chance in the game’ following his second-half introduction against Columbus Crew on Saturday.
The 22-year-old entered the game in the 73rd minute in place of Talles Magno with his side needing a goal to restore parity.
Then, in the 94th minute, a deflection saw the ball land in the path of Segal. After bringing it down on his chest he calmly slotted it home to earn his team a point.
Speaking after Segal’s second of the season, Cushing revealed he never doubted Segal would earn a chance to secure his side a vital goal.
“Gabe is more of a number nine that will play between the posts but he’s inexperienced,” Cushing said.
“He’s a rookie that works incredibly hard. We know that he's going to get one chance in the game. He nearly got two.
“For us, it’s about while he’s in this development phase of his game, that he takes this chance. It was a no-brainer to put him in.
“The aim for him is to become that real clinical guy that takes that chance. He had one chance at New England away. He’s had chances at home before. The one in Orlando he put away.
“He’s on the right track. His work ethic, his work rate, and his commitment to the team are exceptional.”
Cushing also confirmed that while he was pleased with elements of the performance against the Crew, his team must seek out victories as they attempt to climb the table.
“When we create more chances than the opposition and we get the Yankee Stadium effect we normally win the game by three or four,” he said.
“That’s where we have to get to. That’s the process. I was pleased with certain elements of the performance today, but I've said that for the last few weeks.
“Ultimately now it's about winning football games. We have to stay on the right path. This direction will turn us into a challenging football team.
“The biggest positive, and I told the guys is, you can’t question this team’s spirit and commitment to New York.
“The desire and the fight; if I was a supporter in the crowd I’d be really proud of my football team today.”