HANOVER, N.J. – Through the majority of their five-game winless streak, New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch has insisted that changes weren’t necessary to break out of their funk, but merely a bit of luck.
But following a fourth straight loss, his tone appears to have changed.
Addressing the media after a 2-1 home loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night, Marsch admitted that some decisions needed to be made as to which players have earned time within his starting lineup.
Come Wednesday night, when Real Salt Lake visit Red Bull Arena (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE), change will certainly manifest itself. The Red Bulls head coach pointed out the likes of Sean Davis, Leo Stolz, Anatole Abang and Connor Lade as likely beneficiaries.
“Certain guys have shown that they’re hungry,” Marsch told reporters after training. “It’s not like we’re going to change the philosophy, but we need to look hard at which guys right now are ready to step up and do whatever it takes.”
Up until this point, Marsch had been more or less insistent that New York would not veer from their game plan or personnel. But as their run of poor results continues, the status quo is no longer acceptable.
“We’re figuring out how to put 11 guys on the field on Wednesday that are going to go out there and win, period,” Marsch said. “Win ugly, win pretty; win in whatever way possible. That’s where we’re at right now. We have to figure out a way to stop the bleeding.”
That any-means-necessary approach was echoed by captain Dax McCarty, who admitted that his team has not been “mean” enough to get the job done.
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“Our mindset has to change from ‘play well and try to win and hope we win’ to ‘screw it,’” he said. “If we have to play like bastards, if we have to play cynical, if we have to kick people, if we have to be physical, if we have to get up in guys' faces, then we need to change that.”
Throughout their slump, players and coaches alike have been quick to point out that New York have not been outplayed by their opposition but have been on the losing end due to missed chances and unlucky bounces.
An impassioned McCarty put an end to that talk after training on Monday.
“We need to get rid of the mentality that [just because] we’re outplaying teams that it’s good enough,” McCarty told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s not good enough. If you want to outplay a team and points don’t come out of it, then it doesn’t really mean anything.”