Nick Cushing needs to find a way to turn things around for NYCFC. (Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports)

These are not the best of times for New York City FC.

The Cityzens have won but once in five of their last six matches, including an embarrassing and frustrating home result to lowly D.C. United. They also have conceded 13 goals during that skid as the defense has failed at vital times.

They will try to snap out of their nightmare down ride in the MLS elevator against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Sunday at 8 p.m.

“In this moment, it’s a real test of your resilience and your character as a squad,” NYCFC interim head coach Nick Cushing said. “Of course, the level of quality hasn’t been there in the performances to win the game but the togetherness and the desire and hunger to really push the games to the point where we feel like we should have gotten something from the games [is there].

“I’ve been really pleased by the way guys that haven’t played too much football have gone in [and performed].”

But until MLS awards points for effort, that won’t mean a thing in the standings.

Both teams need wins to bolster their playoff positions.

Fourth-place City (13-9-6, 45 points) needs to win to help itself remain inn the top four teams in the Eastern Conference. That would give them at least one home playoff match.

Ninth-place New England (8-9-11, 35) needs a win because it is trying to earn one of the seven conference postseason spots.

“For us, it’s about trying to improve on the performance of the areas we think we can be better,” Cushing said. “With lineup changes and inconsistency in the eleven, it’s going to give us inconsistency in trying to affect the game and perform the way we want to, but we have to keep working… keep striving and keep aiming to keep the performance consistent over the 90 minutes.”