Taty Castellanos and his NYCFC teammates could not find the net again. (Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
The failure of finding the net for four consecutive matches is starting to get to New York City FC.
After suffering its fourth successive shutout, a 1-0 defeat at the Red Bulls Sunday, head coach Ronny Deila felt the team has lost its confidence.
“We have been really good early in the season but right now there has been a lot of inconsistency,” he said after the loss at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. “I feel that we have lost a little bit of confidence in the final third of the pitch. We have to get that back again, like I said the consistency is important, and at the same time we have to take our chances better when we get them. That is something that we have talked a lot about this season.”
Due to the club’s horrendous results of late, NYCFC sits in eighth place in the MLS Eastern Conference, a spot out of a playoff position with five games remaining in the regular season. The Cityzens have only a 1-5-3 record in their last nine matches, securing only six out of a possible 29 points. That is the equivalent of a 2-7 record.
This from a team that boasts forward Taty Castellanos (13 goals), one of the top goal-scorers in MLS.
Asked what needed to be done to score goals, Deila replied, “I think it’s about consistency. I think it’s also when we play against a back five, the opponent is more defensive-minded, and we are going to have the ball a lot. Then we need to get width in the play because we have the wingers inside a lot, so we have to switch the play, and getting width in our play is important, then when we do that, we will have the possession against a team that plays with five behind.
“It’s small details that will get us on the right path again. You need to simplify things. You need to play simpler. We need to go to every game like a cup final and have every energy into the games.”
Defender Alex Callens wasn’t about to point any fingers.
“This is everyone’s fault, it’s not the fault of our teammates upfront,” he said. “So we will get out of this together.”
The center back was so optimistic and wasn’t about to give up.
“We are good players,” he said, “So, these last five games we are going to play our hearts out. This isn’t over yet.”
NYCFC certainly hasn’t made it any easier for itself.