PURCHASE, N.Y. – New York City FC coach Patrick Vieira knows what to expect from the New York Red Bulls in Sunday's upcoming #NYDerby (12 pm ET, ESPN | TICKETS). He knows they will again try to take advantage of the tight confines of Yankee Stadium with high pressure and look to capitalize on set pieces.
“And we are not going to change,'' Vieira said. "This is for sure.”
“We’re still going to build up from the back,'' he continued. "We still want to play. We’re still going to build up with our goalkeeper. Our philosophy is going to be the same.”
The only change, Vieira promises, will be his team’s performance Sunday in the Bronx from the squad that fell 7-0 to their rivals last month.
“I’m not worried about the game because I know what to expect, I know it’s going to be really difficult, but this game will be more difficult for them than it was previously,” Vieira said. “Physically we will be in better shape, mentally we will be in better shape, and we are playing some good football. It will be a totally different game. We may lose it, but it will be a different game.”
Vieira cites NYCFC’s current run of form – back-to-back wins over the Philadelphia Union and Seattle Sounders – and a full week of preparation ahead of the New York derby as reasons his team is better suited to give the Red Bulls a more competitive game this time around.
“Like I’m going to mention to the players, that was a 'one-off' game,” Vieira said. “What I want, of course, is that result to be somewhere in our mind, but the main focus will be on ourselves: how we want to play, how we’re going to play, respecting our game plan. That will not change. We’re going to concentrate on ourselves and how we can hurt them.”
Although the Red Bulls' high pressure has previously undone NYCFC, who have yet to beat their cross-river rivals, Vieira believes his team can absorb that pressure and create problems of their own.
“They’re going to come in and press high, no doubt about it,” Viera said. “For us, we will need to be a little bit more clever with how we’re going to use the ball. We need to make a quicker decision. If we do that, I think we can still hurt them.”