vieira houston

Vieira: We Need to Do Better

Patrick Vieira's men couldn't find a second goal to seal all three points against a pacey and dangerous Houston Dynamo side, but they put together a fighting performance for the supporters who came out to Pratt and Whitney Stadium. Riding no small amount of gutsy defensive work, City picked up a 1-1 draw which earned them their 52nd point of the season. 

READ: Match Recap: NYCFC 1-1 Houston Dynamo

When asked about the atmosphere in the stadium after the match, Vieira was positive, praising the fans who made it out to support their Club.

"I think it was good. I think the atmosphere was good," observed the gaffer.

"The fans came, and I think you can see the support that we had for the football club is very positive. It was good to see fans traveling and coming to support the team.

"The club had been walking around, trying to find the best option for the team to express themselves, and for fans to turn up and support the team, and I think when you look at the quality of the game—because I think it was a really good game of football between the two teams—you look at the fans who turned up, I think it was the right decision."

The supporters who made the trip to Connecticut were treated to the return of Alexander Ring, who got the start and played all 90 minutes in his return from injury. He marked his return with a glowing defensive showing, picking up nine recoveries, a crucial block in second-half stoppage time, and three interceptions. Andraz Struna made his starting XI debut, picking up an assist on NYCFC's only goal. 

Both Ring and Struna were contributors to a NYCFC attack that generated plenty of opportunities, but couldn't quite capitalize on enough of them to pick up the win. NYCFC put seven shots on target, but Houston goalkeeper Tyler Deric came up big on multiple occasions to deny City their second goal.

"I think you have to give credit to the goalkeeper," said Vieira. "Both goalkeepers, because I think Sean had some fantastic saves as well. But on the other side, I think the goalkeeper played really well, made some good saves.

"I think it's true that there are some opportunities that we didn't use really well. We have to get more collective around the box, and yes, I think we had a few situations that we needed to do better with."

With one eye on the playoffs, every point is valuable for NYCFC. A draw is good, but Vieira knows that it's all about winning at this point in the season.

"Getting results is really important, but we understand that to get the result that we want, we need to play well," explained Vieira. 

"We need to play at a certain level. It will be important to have all the players coming back from injuries. Alex Ring didn't play for a while, he trained twice with the team but he managed to go through the 90 minutes.

"We had players who came back from injuries, it was good to see Matarrita on the bench. Ethan and Mikey are getting better, and that's good."

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