Frank Lampard dismissed suggestions by coach Jason Kreis that some New York City players do not care, while the veteran midfielder claimed a two-week break will be ideal for him to regain fitness.
New York City suffered their fifth loss in eight matches on Saturday, conceding an 83rd-minute goal as Columbus Crew triumphed 2-1 at Yankee Stadium.
The result left Kreis' men on 28 points in the Eastern Conference, still only a point outside the play-off positions with seven games remaining but with very little momentum heading into their bye week in MLS.
Kreis was clearly unimpressed after the loss to the Crew and questioned the mentality of his squad.
"The players need to show if they want to be here and be a part of this because I know the coaching staff does," he said, according to the MLS website.
"I know the coaching staff cares an awful lot about this club and the job we're attempting to do. I'm not so sure all the players do."
But Lampard rejected Kreis' criticism.
"I respect the manager for saying that," the former Chelsea midfielder said.
"Managers and players should be emotional after defeats at times... there's an all-around spirit in the camp and I don't see a problem at all. You'll have to ask every individual but I don't feel that.
"All I feel is something's off on the pitch, we're not getting the results and the consistency, but for me it's not for the want of trying."
Lampard made just his third appearance for New York City since arriving at the MLS expansion club after the 2014-15 Premier League season and was withdrawn after an hour.
But the 37-year-old expects to make more of an impact by the time his team's next match against FC Dallas rolls around on September 12.
"I can't be at my best, I've only trained for days, rather than weeks," Lampard said.
"This is a perfect break for me to get some good training in for two weeks."
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