In the wake of his side's frantic 3-3 draw at Real Salt Lake on Monday night, New England coach Steve Nicol laid the blame for the disappointing result on the Revolution's continued inability to avoid mistakes at critical times.
“To be honest, what made it so hard [against Real Salt Lake] was ourselves,” Nicol told reporters after the match. “I don’t know what to say. I’m absolutely flabbergasted at what just happened.”
Even though the hosts lost defender Nat Borchers to an early red card, a series of Revs errors — particularly in possession, though there were also a handful of defensive missteps — opened the door for RSL to assert control over the game even before Ryan Cochrane's second-half dismissal restored numerical parity.
Similar faults have plagued the Revs for much of the season as they have struggled to cobble together 90-minute performances without making a key mistake here or there to cost themselves dearly.
Several players have noted the problems in recent weeks, but the solutions to the persistent issues — momentary lapses in solid defensive performances and generally shoddy work on the ball — have not appeared as of yet.
“Personally, we have to look at each other and find out what’s going wrong and then take it from there,” Revolution captain Shalrie Joseph told reporters after the match. “It’s all mental mistakes, that’s what we’re making. If we can correct that, I think we’ll get three points on the road, especially [in] a game like [the game against Real Salt Lake], where we should’ve walked away with three points yet we weren’t able to do that.”
While a draw represents a solid result at a difficult away venue like Rio Tinto Stadium, it did not prove entirely satisfying because it extended the Revs' winless drought away from home to nine matches (0-6-3).
Nicol said he believes everyone involved with the club needs to ponder the Revs' continued tendency to get in their own way with a four-day break on the docket before training resumes on Sunday.
“We have a break, so we need to go home and think about all the things we should have done better [against RSL],” Nicol said.