PURCHASE, N.Y. – Patrick Vieira wanted to bring in three new targets to “refresh the team, bring a new dynamic inside the dressing room” and “put more pressure on players.”
“There’s no doubt we’re strong enough to compete against any team in the league,” Vieira said. “If we have more consistency in our performance we will of course have a strong team.”
Vieira believed NYCFC would have a better shot at being more consistent with additional players. His top target was a center back, a position NYCFC lacks depth with Maxime Chanot sidelined by a hamstring injury.
The Luxembourg international isn’t close to returning to the field where he’s started 24 of the 25 games he’s appeared in since arriving during last summer’s transfer window.
“It will be a couple of weeks before he can even start running I would say,” Vieira said. “We have to wait week after week to see how he’s going to improve.”
That means the pairing of Alexander Callens and Frederic Brillant is all NYCFC have for the foreseeable future. While Callens has been a solid addition since the Peruvian international arrived in January, Brillant has been inconsistent in his second season with the club.
“If we have one of the two injured, we don’t have another central back,” Vieira said. “This is a big problem for us because Maxime, we don’t know when he’s going to come back.”
Vieira said ideally NYCFC would made an addition in “each line,” but a central defender he deemed critical.
“We need a central back,” he said Tuesday after training. “We need players because our ambition is big.”
With little room under the salary cap, Vieira said NYCFC were looking to be creative to land their targets, who he said were both domestic and international players.
It appears that hasn’t happened.
“If we don’t I will be of course disappointed,” Vieira said. “This is the way that it is. We will have to work with what we have and we have already a good team. I think we can have a better squad if we happen to bring these players.”