FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England defender Darrius Barnes said he believes his side must maintain its confidence ahead of its Independence Day clash at Real Salt Lake.
Barnes and the Revs enter the match on a seven-match winless run (0-5-2) and an eight-match road skid (0-6-2), but Barnes said he and his teammates must lean on the positives from their recent performances to secure a result against the Claret-and-Cobalt on Monday (8:30 pm ET, ESPN2).
“We need to clear our minds and go out there and play with some confidence,” Barnes told MLSsoccer.com on Friday. “I thought in these past few weeks, we've gone out and played with some confidence, gotten those bad losses out of our minds and started with a clean slate. I feel like this would be a great game for us to go out, have a good game and play well considering the last couple of times (in Utah), we haven't come out with a good result.”
RSL have dished out two heavy defeats to the Revs – a 6-0 drubbing in 2009 and a 5-0 reverse in 2010 – in the only two meetings between the sides at Rio Tinto Stadium. In order to reverse the recent trend, the Revs must pull out all of the stops to disrupt RSL's possession-oriented approach.
“We have to do anything and everything at this point,” Revolution defender Ryan Cochrane said. “We're trying everything. I know guys are putting in the work. (During an intrasquad scrimmage on Friday), the second team set up as Salt Lake would set up in a game. Hopefully, that will help prepare us a little bit.”
Rookie midfielder Stephen McCarthy (shoulder) will miss out entirely after Revolution boss Steve Nicol decided to leave him back in New England to continue his rehabilitation, but the current group must cope without his presence and replicate its start from last Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Seattle to come away with the desired result.
“We have to do what we did last weekend,” Nicol said. “We have to make a good start and try to kill their game. Obviously, we want a couple of decisions to go our way and we want to make good decisions ourselves when we're both on and off the ball.”