You don’t need to tell New England Revolution fans that the club has been struggling as of late but head coach Bruce Arena isn’t shying away from taking responsibility.
The Revs have lost four straight MLS games and five across all competitions. The four-game MLS losing streak is a first for Arena who began coaching in the league in 1996.
Arena didn’t shy away from taking responsibility for New England’s struggles when speaking with the media on Thursday.
“We certainly have had some unlucky breaks, but we’ve made some big mistakes at the end of games that have cost us, and to me, that says that we’re not a well-coached team at the moment,” he said. “So, that has to get better. For a team to make the mistakes we’ve made at the end of some games, the change, the outcome of the game is inexcusable, and that responsibility is mine.”
Saturday seems to be a great opportunity for the club to get back on track. Expansion side Charlotte FC has struggled away from home in its infancy, failing to register its first point away from home.
But after Charlotte defeated New England 3-1 in North Carolina just a few weeks ago, the Revs can’t expect to secure a win simply by showing up on Saturday night, especially with their form as of late.
“Not any one particular item we’re concentrating on, just trying to get better, trying to eliminate some of the mistakes we’ve experienced to date, and also obviously we played Charlotte some weeks ago, analyze that game,” Arena said when asked about the biggest focus for the team ahead of Saturday’s match. “Our team will be different obviously from the group that played in Charlotte. The game is going to look a little different, I think, but understanding Charlotte and also just working on getting our team better.”
Obviously, things will be slightly different now that New England is the home team. Also as Arena alluded to, some players have been able to recover from injuries while others got banged up since the two teams last played.
Henry Kessler was able to return to the pitch against the New York Red Bulls as well as Inter Inter Miami CF and the center back believes there will be no excuses for a poor performance against Charlotte.
“We’ll be the home team, so that gives us an advantage,” Kessler said. “We played them not so long ago. So, we’ll be better prepared. We’ll have some adjustments that’ll be made and we’re more familiar. So we’ll know exactly what to expect. There should be no excuses in that regard.”
The result on Saturday will either allow for New England to take a step in the right direction or sour the mood surrounding the club even more. What result occurs depends on Arena being able to get a complete effort from his team for 90 minutes that evening.