Now the Red Bulls – desperate for a turnaround – will face an uphill battle as they look for points in Gillette Stadium against the Revolution. That goal won’t be easy as New York have failed to garner a victory at Gillette in a decade.
If the Red Bulls do seek to change their fortunes, it starts with a change in attitude.
“We can’t start kicking and panicking,” Red Bulls coach Hans Backe said. “It’s more of an attitude when we begin games now. We need to begin, I don’t care if we have two or three unforced errors but the reaction after that has to be a better attitude.”
As with prior weeks, the key – especially on the road – will be avoiding the early goal. “I think it’s painful to start like that,” Backe explained. “It’s not only that you concede two goals the first 20 minutes. It’s more you looked not lively, sloppy in the passing game and when they score, then we started to get back into the game. We could have scored in the second half with some decent chances. We have to be so, so focused from the start. Aggressive in all actions in this league, otherwise you go down.”
Keeping their defensive shape will be key, especially in light of Thierry Henry’s suspension. For Backe, the team has plenty of talent that will be able to fill in the gaps.
“We have some options still,” he said. “We have a good roster now, we have good players, starters on the bench. We can start (Sebastien) Le Toux, Kenny Cooper. We can still use Tim (Cahill) as a striker, a second striker with one of Kenny and Le Toux. We have a session soon and I will make a decision.”
Along with those forward options, New York also uncovered a gem on Wednesday night. Lloyd Sam enjoyed a solid, spry home debut, sparking the Red Bulls attack late in the game. His addition would be a major boost for a team looking desperately for one.
“He was sparkling,” Backe acknowledged. “He is a good player who can take players on with good crosses. He is lively. Not quite sure yet if he is ready to start a game and how much he can play. He will be there soon. He is definitely banging on the door, and probably could do 45 or 60 minutes, I would guess. You really never know.”
Defender Heath Pearce believes the team has a chance to take home three points regardless of tthe circumstances. “We’ve got a good squad with a lot of experience,” he said. “It’s just going back to the basics and focusing on the small things and coming out strong for 90 minutes. It all sounds cliché but those are the things when we lack any one of those things, we get ourselves into trouble. It’s about restarting and bringing three points home with us.”
“Coming on the road, why not give it a go?” Backe added. “Try to get three points. Don’t sit back and go for breaks. I have no problems with that.”