Revs seek consistency, effort ahead of Friday tilt at NY

Ryan Cochrane

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England defender Ryan Cochrane did not mince words about his side's recent performances as the Revs prepared for Friday's trip to New York (8:30 p.m. ET; FOX Soccer).

“Nobody likes what is going on right now,” Cochrane told MLSsoccer.com earlier this week. “It's not pretty soccer. We're too inconsistent. We have a game where we're good and we have good possession, and then the next game, we don't. It's just about finding that consistency right now.”

Those problems are there for all to see at the moment, but it is easier to identify them than to rectify them. Cochrane said he and his teammates continued their quest for more consistency on the training field. Revolution midfielder Chris Tierney noted that his side needs to apply similar diligence when it steps between the lines against the Red Bulls.

“First things first, it's about about attitude,” Tierney said. “We need to approach the game a little bit better than we have. We have to put them under pressure and win the physical battle. That's what we define ourselves by: effort. It hasn't been as good as it could be, so that's the first thing that we need to address.”
    
Once the approach is in place, the Revs can more onto other pressing matters. A dearth of goals (zero tallies from the run of play in the past six matches) and a paucity of possession (39.6 percent of the ball in last Saturday's 1-0 defeat at FC Dallas) continues to heap pressure on the back four and limit the margin of error available in order to secure a positive result.

The task won't get any easier as New England attempts to procure the desired points at Red Bull Arena with Benny Feilhaber (ankle) still unavailable. Although the Revs have generally enjoyed success against New York (25-17-11 all-time, including 14 results in their past 15 meetings), they face a depleted and motivated Red Bulls side looking to snap a six-match winless streak.

“Both teams are going to be looking for a result,” Cochrane said. “It's nice to have some fans coming down for that game. It'll give us a little extra (boost). We just need to keep plugging away at this point. You don't know what is going to do it. It could be one little thing, one goal that sparks a flood of goals. Hopefully, that happens.”

Even if it doesn't occur straight away, the Revs must make sure to retain their faith in the principles already in place — cherish possession, keep things tight at the back and work tirelessly for 90 minutes — in order to move forward, according to coach Steve Nicol.

“We have to make sure we stick together,” Nicol said. “It's a combination of having confidence in what we're trying to do — obviously at the present time, we haven't quite managed to do that — and believing that we're going to get it right.”