The first two matches on New England's three-match road trip unfolded in an agonizingly similar fashion.
A slow start led to an early goal for the home side and the Revolution staggered to recover for the remainder of the first half. A more committed effort in the second half salvaged some pride, but it ultimately yielded no impression on the score sheet or the final outcome.
In order to alter the recent trends and secure a positive result to conclude a three-match road stint at FC Dallas on Wednesday night, New England must display some ambition from the start and eliminate its mistakes, according to Revolution coach Steve Nicol.
“We just have to go about it in the right way,” Nicol told MLSsoccer.com Tuesday. “We have to be positive, not apprehensive. That's kind of how it's worked out: We've been apprehensive rather than taking the bull by the horns and trying to make things happen.”
Forcing the issue will require the Revs to press forward a bit more and take chances, but Nicol said he's willing to exchange the odd mistake in the attacking half for an additional dose of aggressiveness.
“You're going to try things and they won't come off,” Nicol said. “That's fine; but at least have the conviction to try and do something.”
It will likely take a hefty helping of self-belief to muster the effort required to snap FCD's 15-match unbeaten streak. Other possession-oriented teams have given the Revs fits this season, but they will at least enter this contest with history on their side (11-5-1 at Dallas all-time) as they try to construct a way to halt their injury-riddled hosts.
“They're definitely a good team,” New England defender Kevin Alston said. “They have a lot of good players and they're pretty dynamic in their attack. For us, we need to bite down and we need to stay organized. We can't give up anything early. We need to create a match and pressure them instead of taking fire all game.”
Pushing the tempo could require a couple of changes to the starting XI after Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Colorado. While Nicol wouldn't delve into any possible lineup alterations for the encounter, he said he is pondering a switch or two to stave off the inevitable fatigue associated with the quick turnaround from the mile-high excursion.
Any new additions to the lineup will no doubt join with the remaining starters to snap a two-match skid and generate some semblance of momentum ahead of Saturday's visit by Columbus.
“A positive result right now would go a long way for all of us,” Alston said. “It's been tough to date, but if we can get a positive result, I'm sure it would spark something for us and help us momentum-wise and motivation-wise going into [the game against Columbus]."