In Quotes on Columbus 2018

In Quotes: NYCFC 2-0 Columbus

All of the soundbites from a happy home locker room following New York City FC's third home win in a week.

Domenec Torrent

On the mentality and effort of the team over the last 3 games…

Wasn't easy, we played three games in a row in seven days. It’s difficult for us because we have players that are injured. I love this team because they have put effort into this week. They played with this intention in the second half because in the first half we were tired and we didn't play good, they played much better than us and they deserve much more especially in the first half. We changed in the second half, our intention was to cap the connection between Higuain and Trapp because the first half we had more spaces in between the lines. it was the same with Chicago because they can play between the lines and our center backs need to set up. We changed a little in the second half, I Believe we played much better in the second half. We had some chances but they played much better than us in my opinion.

On how special Sean Johnson is to the team especially playing three games in a week....

“Sean was the best player in the first half for us, he was the best player absolutely because he was able to save our team. I repeat, they deserved more especially in the first half, we have a good goalkeeper. I’m very happy with him. He's an amazing person. For me it's very important when a player is like Sean. The last two games he played very well and I’m very happy for him.”

On motivation on the road to continue winning…

“We’ll see because I am happy we have gained three more points, but one day we will lose at home. It doesn't matter about us having a record. What's important is to win because we are gaining points. When playing games on the road I think of Chicago because we deserved more and we didn't win it.

On what he can say about Jonathan Lewis’ performance...

“I said last week I’m very happy with Jonathan, but don’t forget, Jonathan plays better when our team finds spaces. Jonathan is especially a player who plays against teams who play high. It’s very important for us because you know, after that he’s a fast player. I’m very happy for him because in every single training they improve a lot and the training sessions after the session, normally Jonathan trains more to improve the cross, to improve the one-by-one and that is the reason why I’m very happy for him.”

Jesus Medina

On his goal

“It was a funny goal. First Jonathan kicked it into the post, then he dribbles forward and leaves me in a really good position to score and open up the scoreboard.”

On how difficult Columbus was tonight

Well the first half was kind of difficult. We were tired and it took us a long time to get warmed up they were dominating the ball, but later on we were able to organize ourselves and the in the second half we were able to keep the ball better and we were able to score the goals.”

On his celebration with the Paraguayan flag

“It was a very spontaneous celebration, we were all celebrating in there and then I saw my country’s flag in the stands and I went to grab it to represent my country and to show everyone what my country is.”

On his general thoughts of the game

It was a very tough game with a very strong opponent and we wrap up an amazing week with nine points in three games, but we have to keep on working and keep our feet on the ground to stay at the top of the table.”

Sean Johnson

On the character of the team…

“I said it since the first week started that it’s a group with strong character with a big will to win. This week was really important for us and everybody recognized the importance, and we’ve really just focused on getting nine points in a week where we knew we had three home games and for us it was rest, recovery, repeat. I couldn’t be more proud of the boys.”

On Jonathan Lewis getting opportunity…

“It’s great to see him get rewarded for his work ethic, his ability and the work he puts into every single day, he’s worked hard all year. Everybody realizes that and we just try to keep him going. We’ve watched him step up and he’s been a really big part of our week, if not one of the most influential parts, so it’s good to see his talent and see him getting an opportunity. Him and Kwame [Awuah], you might not see it, but they’ve been putting in the work all year, every single day these guys are coming in and working hard, so I’m happy they’re getting rewarded for it.”

On the team’s success despite some injuries…

“I’ve said this from the beginning, we’re a team that’s pretty deep and we’ve got players at every position that can contribute at any time. The beauty of this week is that we did just that, we shuffled things around, some guys played a little bit out of position in places they’re not used to, but everybody really stepped up to do their job. On the week, getting three wins and pushing ourselves up the standings with three home games at this point, that’s what you have to do. It’s a special group and I’ll be happy to have everybody healthy and we’re a force to be reckoned with.”

Anton Tinnerholm

On collecting nine points on this 3-game week and today’s match…

“Yeah, perfect week. We felt tired in the first half today. We knew that we could do so much better than we did in the first half and I think Sean saved us in the first half, but we didn’t reach the level we can do, especially at home. We felt tired, but during halftime, [we said] we have to step up and at least make it a little bit more difficult for them. We played in between lines all the time and it was difficult to defend when they have time with the ball, they’re a really good team. So, we said at halftime we have to give ourselves a chance to win the game and we felt the high pressure. The second half was way better than it was in the first half and we scored the first goal as well. We stepped up in the second half.

On Columbus making it a difficult first half…

“They are a good team. We played three games in six days and they haven’t, so it felt like some legs were a little bit tired out there, but I felt we showed character, especially in the second half. Everybody was really tired but we kept on fighting and we knew that Columbus is one of the tough teams in the league. We still managed to win and I think the best thing is that we knew that we can do better than this and we’re still standing here with the three points and a clean sheet. There’s more to take.”

On the trend of strong second halves…

“Today it felt like today we played a different way in the first half than we did in the second half. It’s not a question that the car came in the second half because we played so much better in the second half. We know that we had good training and we know that teams playing here think that it’s really tough to come here. We know that if it’s still 0-0 after 70-75 minutes, we can still find a way to score goals and win the game.”

On his goal…

“Albert [Puig], the assistant coach, said I looked like Messi and I can take [the shot], that’s no problem.”

Kwame Awuah

On getting more minutes in the lineup this week…

“It feels good. Just to know that the coach believes in guys like me - not even just me but guys like Jonathan [Lewis] and Tommy [McNamara] and the guys that haven’t been playing before earlier in the season, so it feels good to get more minutes. Progression - training by training session.”

On what Domenec Torrent told him before coming on as a sub…

“He told me to just try to stay on the field to get [Federico] Higuain as tired as possible, and you saw he got subbed off in the second half. He told me to stay disciplined, to follow their key players and that’s what I did. And when in possession, stay positioned and disciplined and try to keep the ball.”

On the halftime adjustments in today’s game…

“It was just keeping the tempo. A lot of guys played a lot of minutes in the past week, so just getting some fresh legs out there and continuing the game plan. We all knew what we had to do once we came in and [Torrent] was able to lead us in the right direction.”

Alexander Callens

On having to defend the opponent’s main striker...

“Yeah, that’s something we talk about in training. It’s been a short week, but we know he’s a strong player who is very good in the box but we have to stay focused and work hard.”

On the changes needed in order to start off as strong as they closed...

“Well, we knew Columbus is a very technical team who creates chances in the middle and we just tried to avoid that and close them down and I think it worked well.”

Jonathan Lewis

On the team scoring late goals in the last three games at home…

“We play like it’s a fortress where no one can just come in and beat us, so we’re just working hard and working on our fitness so we can get an extra boost at the end of the game and get these late goals. We also played against some very strong teams that defended well against us, but we just needed something to break the deadlock at the end of the game.”

On improving at reading the game…

“I’ve been reacting and not waiting, before I felt like I was waiting around, but they told me with the ability you have, you have to start reading and not reacting, and then your abilities will come, so on the goal there, just coming inside, being in the right spot and reading, I was able to react to get my own miss, and then go and get the assist.”

On tonight’s assist and seeing Jesus Medina in the play...

"I was right there when I got the rebound, so when I shot it again he was right in front of me. I knew he [Medina] was going to come out and come hard, so that’s why I was able to just slip him in there.”

On the pressure leading to the goal…

“Yeah, I knew to move in that space right there in the pocket, because Will Trapp normally goes into that space so I knew I needed to come inside but he just misplaced the pass and I was just there.”

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