Patrick Vieira has his squad in high spirits ahead of this weekend's match in Denver against the Colorado Rapids. After his squad, depleted by injuries, suffered a tough loss to the Portland Timbers, that trademark resilience remains intact.
PHOTOS: Training for the Mile High City
Despite the high spirits and the smiling faces, Vieira knows that this weekend's trip will be no cake walk. His side will be buoyed by the welcomed presence of David Villa back in training, but NYCFC's task is far from straightforward.
"I think in the league, sometimes teams are where they are not supposed to be," said the gaffer.
"When you look at Colorado, the last game they played against Houston, they managed to win 1-0. They played well, they worked pretty hard, and it was difficult to create chances against them."
If chances are indeed at a premium this weekend, it will be City's job to put them away. Creating opportunities to score is one of the Blues' strongest traits, but finishing those opportunities against a compact and well-organized side is always difficult.
But no matter the team or the conditions under which the match is played, however, Vieira knows what his side does best, and his plan is to stick with what works.
"We’re going into the game this weekend, of course, with ambitions to try to play the way we know we can, and to try to give our best," said Vieira.
"It’s going to be tough, it’s going to be really difficult, and extremely important for us to stick to what we know best, and to stick together as a team."
Putting faith in the fact that NYCFC is more than the sum of their parts has been extremely important for Vieira as of late, as injuries to key contributors, suspensions, and absences due to international duty have tested the depth of his squad in a very important stretch of the season.
It's a daunting test, surely, for any coach, but Patrick knows better than most what he's capable of getting out of the 26 players at his disposal.
"I think it’s always, you build a squad and you have players you really want to work with," said the Head Coach, "So when you’re missing a few players, you know that other players can step in.
"I think so far, we’ve been really good.
"Of course, it’s not good to see injuries and to see players out of the game, but I have to say that the players who have stepped in have done really well for the team, and that is what we want.”