FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Antonio Delamea and his New England Revolution teammates are well aware that time is running short on the 2017 regular season.
With just 10 games remaining on the schedule and seven points separating the Revs from the playoff places in the Eastern Conference their margin for error is essentially nil, particularly after a frustrating loss to New York City FC last weekend.
“We know we need to win almost every game from now on,” Delamea said ahead of the Revolution’s trip to D.C. United on Saturday night. “There’s no more time for excuses, no more time for bad performances. We really need to start to improve our mentality.”
Delamea pointed to a series of late letdowns on the road, where the Revs are winless (0-9-3) in 12 tries this season. Four times they’ve held second-half leads away from home – including three times after the 70th minute – but they’re just 0-3-1 in those matches.
The most recent example was on Sunday night, when Teal Bunbury’s fifth goal in the last six games had the Revs on course for three critical points. But two mistakes cost New England a pair of goals in the 77th and 94th minutes, sending them back to Foxborough frustrated and emptyhanded.
“Once again, the game ends for us too early,” Delamea said. “We only played 75 minutes and we are learning [over the] whole season we need to play for 90 minutes the same way, especially on the road. We really struggled [with that].
“We need to find a solution as soon as possible, because we are losing points – unnecessary points – and it really hurts us.”
The issue, Delamea said, isn’t about ability or tactics, but rather a mental fortitude to stay locked in for 90 minutes and close out results in those critical moments.
“I think our heads aren’t on the same level for the whole match,” he said. “We really struggle after [the] 75th minute; not just this [NYCFC] game, but every road game [it’s the] same problem. I think it’s not a problem in football, but much more in our heads.
“This is a really big problem that we are dealing with right now. I just hope we will learn something from this as quick as possible and try to turn things around.”