Busy road stretch to pose tough challenge for Revs
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England coach Steve Nicol said he does not expect his side's mentality to change as it embarks on a difficult stretch of five road games in its next six matches.
“I don't think so, no,” Nicol told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “We have to go out and try and push anyway. Of course, it's harder when you're away, but the mentality doesn't change.”
Although Nicol and the Revs intend to use a similar approach to the one that garnered them two points in two home matches against Toronto FC and Chicago last week, they are under no illusions that the upcoming schedule won't provide a significant test.
A trip to Seattle on Sunday kicks off a slate that will see the Revs play four road games in July — including historically difficult trips to Real Salt Lake (July 4) and Colorado (July 23), plus a first visit to Sporting Kansas City's Livestrong Sporting Park (July 30) — as they attempt to snap a five-match winless streak in league play.
“It's harder to play away from home than it is to play at home,” Nicol said. “Anybody who tells you any different is lying.”
New England have collected just two points in seven road matches so far in 2011, but they must pick up their rate of return over the next month to stay within striking distance in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Nicol said he believes the Revs' road results can improve with the right mix of application, professionalism and quality.
“The first [things] we need when we play away are to be professional and to do our jobs,” Nicol said. “Once you do that, you can put on that little bit extra — whatever qualities you have, everybody has their own individual talents so to speak. They have to do their job, hit their spots, do the right things and make the right decisions. After that, you just have to add your own wee bit.”