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Nick Cushing: We will attack the game at every phase

In this exclusive interview, the New York City head coach tells us about the pressure to deliver wins, fast-attacking football, developing young players, and why he wore that jacket in Miami.

The New York City FC Coach is wearing Stone Island | © Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Hudson River Blue spoke with New York City FC head coach Nick Cushing at the club’s training facility ahead of Saturday's game with Atlanta United at Citi Field.

Note: This interview was edited for length and clarity.

Feeling pressure?

Hudson River Blue: The results this year haven’t been, I’m sure, what you want. Are you feeling any pressure?

Nick Cushing: It depends on what you define as pressure.

Pressure from leadership here? No. Pressure from fans? Yes, and I accept that because they want results. Pressure from myself? Yes, because I’m desperate to win.

I’ve won before, and I understand the formula of what it takes to win. When it hasn’t worked out in the past I’ve worked incredibly hard to go and find out.

The group is an incredible group, and I enjoy every day working with them. The one thing: Everybody wants to win, and everybody thinks they deserve to win. And when you feel like the group we work with, the cohesion and togetherness that we have, off the back of last year, the pressure to deliver that is incredible because we really want it.

So yeah, the answer is yes.

But when people ask you, “Do you feel pressure?” What they’re basically asking you is, “Do you feel like the leadership is going to fire you?”

The game is the game, right? If you don’t get results, irrelevant of how you play, you lose your job. And that’s the way it is. That’s the same here, that’s the same at every state in America, that’s the same in the Premier League, that’s the same in the Championship. I’m a realist. We have to deliver results.

A young squad that's still developing

HRB: Let’s talk about age. Looking at this year’s squad vs last year’s squad: Last year you had a lot of extremely young players. This year they’re a little bit older but it’s still a very young group. You have an 18-year-old, 19-year-olds, 20-year-olds. How much of your coaching is player development?

NC: To quantify it is difficult. The most important part is to be a winning team, but we can’t hide the fact that we have a lot of young guys we’re developing.

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