NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira will be wasting no time in turning his attention back to the ongoing MLS campaign after his squad was unable to claim victory over the New York Red Bulls in the fourth round of the US Open Cup.
Vieira didn’t hesitate to point out that this match was a tale of two halves, highlighting missed chances in the first half that came back to haunt his side.
“Both teams had their half, and we didn’t take our chances,” said Vieira. “In a game like that, when you don’t take your chances, you can make one mistake and you’re suddenly behind.
“We are frustrated because we believe that if we scored the first goal, the game would be different.”
Turning those chances into goals, and maintaining control of the midfield for the full 90 minutes, will be key for Vieira and the NYCFC squad as they head into their next meeting with the Red Bulls, just a week and a half away.
Vieira told reporters: “I look at the first half where they didn’t create much. I think we defended really well. We hit, twice, the post, so I think in the first half there is a positive aspect of the game that we have to take.
“In the second half, obviously, the tempo was highly on their side, and they gave us a lot of problems with the way they played small passes in the midfield.
“But I really think in the first half there are some positive things to take for us.”
Taking those positives and weaving together the ingredients for a victory next time around is high on Vieira’s list of priorities, and he reiterated how much he relishes the challenges that come with facing the Red Bulls.
“The Derby, whether it’s in the league or it’s in the cup, we always want to win it,” he said.
“We’ve got our fans, and the way they turn up, and the noise that they make. Tonight, you can really see that it’s important for them as well.
“It’s a fantastic challenge. It’s a really good challenge for myself, for the players.
"As a football coach and as a player, it’s a challenge that gets me really excited.”