FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England coach Steve Nicol said he believes his side possesses the necessary character to rebound from Wednesday's 4-4 draw at Philadelphia ahead of FC Dallas' visit on Saturday night.
Nicol's side accumulated a 4-1 advantage by halftime against the Union in midweek, but it failed to see out the game and permitted a lead to slip for the eighth time in nine tries.
Despite the potential mental fallout from dropping two points in the second half yet again, Nicol said his side will show up ready to play against FC Dallas on Saturday (7:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
“The group's shown the whole season that they are committed and they want to win,” Nicol told MLSsoccer.com after the Revs went through a light session of jogging and stretching Friday morning. “We just haven't finished it off when we should have on too many occasions so far this season, particularly the last three games.”
New England have conceded two goals in second-half stoppage time in the last three matches (all draws) after attempting to cling to the lead in the late stages of the contest. The continued inability to safely secure victories in that manner should encourage the Revs to sustain the approach and the demeanor from the start of those games, according to defender Kevin Alston.
“We have to be consistent,” Alston said. “We come out, we start well and we do the right things, but then we have this mentality where we sit back, lose focus and start making mistakes that we just can't make.”
While the Revs must learn the lessons from their past three outings as they attempt to snap their seven-game winless run, they cannot afford to allow their minds to linger on the Union setback with FCD in town.
“You can't dwell on what happened,” Alston said. “You take the positives and the negatives from it and you just go to the next game. It's a new game.”
New England will enter the match without the services of Pat Phelan after the central midfielder sustained a concussion late in the second half on Wednesday night. Phelan remained on the ground for several minutes and ultimately watched the final minutes from the bench after taking an errant knee to the jaw from Philadelphia defender Danny Califf.
“[He has taken] the different tests that they do,” Nicol said. “He's doing that again today. He's had a little bit of a headache on Thursday, but he'll go through the process. Obviously, we'll make sure that he is OK.”
Phelan joins Stephen McCarthy (left chronic shoulder subluxation) and Sainey Nyassi (right MCL sprain) on the sidelines, but Kenny Mansally should return to the squad after serving a one-match ban in that midweek.