New York City FC Head Coach Ronny Deila has hailed the work of his assistant Rob Vartughian as his side prepare for the trip to face the Philadelphia Union.
Vartughian has taken the lead on devising set pieces for the Boys in Blue, and when Deila was asked whether his team’s success against FC Cincinnati was good fortune or the consequence of hard work on the training pitch, he pointed to his assistant’s diligent work.
“We are spending a lot of time on it,” Deila said. “We have Rob, who does the set plays. He has a lot of experience. He spends hours every week preparing the team on and off the pitch. To get five, I don’t think that’s happened before; it’s maybe a little bit too much, but it’s not a coincidence.
“When I see how Rob works with the players -it’s details- and they’re working specifically into every game to try and find the weakness of the opponents and how are we going to deal with and also their strength and how to take it out.”
Vartughian has been back on the training pitch this week, working with the players ahead of their trip to Subaru Park this weekend, where they will face his old club, the Philadelphia Union. The assistant coach spent five years with the Union before leaving in late 2014 to join NYCFC.
Jim Curtin took over as the Union’s head coach that same year after being appointed interim manager several months prior.
The 41-year-old celebrated his first trophy in management in 2020 as the Union collected the Supporters’ Shield, and that achievement did not go unnoticed by his opposite number.
“I think he’d done a fantastic job,” Deila said. “They are good developing players in Philadelphia, they are very clear in the way they play. They get everybody to put 100% into the match plan and out on the pitch. When you get 11 players to be really switched on and, and run like they do, you will always be hard to beat.”