Nick Cushing called upon his New York City squad to be sharper in the final third, following Saturday’s defeat to Houston Dynamo.
The home side clinched all three points at the Shell Energy Stadium, courtesy of Amine Bassi’s second half penalty.
Despite a late rally, the City Boys were unable to salvage a draw, and the Head Coach admitted his side were lacking quality and composure in the final third.
“The aim was to be positive, the aim was to create chances and win the game,” he reflected.
“When they sat low, we didn’t open them up well enough, and when we turned the ball over, and we got opportunities, the decision-making wasn’t good enough.
“We have two or three really good opportunities on the turnover to create goal chances, and we didn’t do that.
“In the second half, they sit really low, and we have to find the opening in those moments where we dictate the game.
“The second half was similar to the second half in Nashville – when they sit low, and they put bodies behind the ball, we have to have the quality to get the moment.
“There’s moments in the first half where we should play short, and we will find the opening, or we play short and we miss the forward pass, and then it brings the press, and then we’ve got less time, and we don’t have the composure to play.
“We’ll look at that, and we’ll make sure we fix it. We’ve been good at home in those moments, and in the second half – although they sit off, we get control of the game – but for sure, in those moments in the second half, we have to do better.”
One key positive for the Boys in Blue was the introduction of new recruit Richy Ledezma, who was brought on in the second half for his City debut.
The youngster looked lively, eager to make an impact, with some dangerous crosses from the right flank, and Cushing was pleased to have seen flashes of his potential.
“It’s difficult for him – he came in yesterday – but he goes in and shows he has quality,” the Head Coach declared.
“He hasn’t trained with us enough to know how to play, where to play, and we're chasing the game. It’s difficult for him to have any kind of influence in the game. He’s been with us a day.
“You can see his quality, you can see the flashes of quality that he has, but he came into a game when they had a flat back five, and a four in front, so it’s difficult for our guys – but we have to find the opening.
“We have to have the quality, and the individual ability in those moments, because we have all of the ball, to find the goal.
“Against Nashville in the second half, and this second half, is when we’re really chasing the game... We’ve got the quality on the pitch to find the goal.
“We’ll work at that. We'll look at it, train at it, and we’ll make sure we improve at it, because we’ll be in this moment many times when we push the game.”
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.