FOXBORO — There is no fear in playing away from Gillette Stadium for the New England Revolution now that Bruce Arena is in the driver’s seat.
Since Arena’s new regime assumed coaching reign of the MLS franchise, the Revolution are unbeaten in five road matches, going 3-0-2 heading to the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area Saturday to meet the Red Bulls.
With a victory, the rebounding Revolution can tie the Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference standings.
“This game is more important than just the rivalry,” Revs’ midfielder Diego Fagundez said after practice Tuesday. “At the end of the day, if we win, we advance with them so it’s going to be whoever wins these games is going to move up the table, and if you lose, you’re going down.
“You just have to make sure you’re winning games and if you’re winning — make sure that you’re getting points at least. At the end of the day, that’s what’s important and we just want to get above the line.”
New England is coming off of a dramatic 3-3 draw in Seattle last weekend.
“It’s a point on the road,” Arena said. “I think it continues to show the growth of our team. We’ve been able to go on the road and get results over the last couple months, and that’s a real positive.
“We scored three goals, conceded three goals, dealt with all the things you deal with in terms of travel — 1 o’clock game, and all of that — so I think overall it was a positive performance for our team.”
New England, at 9-9-7 overall and 3-4-5 on the road, has 34 points, while the Red Bulls have 37 points and a strong 8-4-1 home record.
“I think we all know when we play away, we try to go for those wins and, overall, I think we have a good squad that we can win any game,” Fagundez said. “To leave there (Seattle) with a point was excellent. It wasn’t what we wanted, especially when you go up 2-1 over there, but at the end of the day, now we just need to be better and keep going with these points.”
After losing to Los Angeles FC and having an 11-match unbeaten streak snapped, there is no team (LAFC included) that the Revolution doesn’t believe that they can beat. That goes for even the Red Bulls at their 25,000-seat Red Bulls Arena in Harrison, N.J., perhaps, the best soccer specific venue in MLS.
“Everyone’s just got each other’s backs,” defender Michael Mancienne said. “It’s just, I don’t know how to explain it, it’s just a different atmosphere in the changing room.
“You know that as soon as you step on that field, that everyone’s going to fight for each other and we showed that.
“Like I said, earlier in the season our heads would have gone down and half the boys might have been walking around and kind of half given up, but you didn’t see that. Everyone kept fighting through the final whistle, which is massive. It’s a massive confidence boost, and we’re going to need that if we want to get to the playoffs.
“It helps massively — all the best teams have it. Especially in America, some of the away trips are the hardest trips to play on. It’s so difficult, especially when you’re changing time zones, and to go somewhere where you’re playing away from home, you haven’t got as many fans there supporting you, it’s difficult.
“To have that mentality, that strong mentality and that belief in yourself to not lose the game, is huge.”
Even if he is not in the starting lineup, Fagundez feeds off the confidence throughout the locker room.
“It’s huge,” Fagundez said of the camaraderie. “Every game is important right now. We need to make sure we’re getting points no matter what it takes. We have to make sure we’re playing 100 percent, playing 90 minutes, and when we have those chances to finish teams, finish them.
“We’re just going to go give them (Red Bulls) a fight and make sure we leave there with points. This squad, we can definitely win every game.”