Jesse Marsch is in no doubt results will turn around, but the New York Red Bulls coach has called for patience.
The Red Bulls – third in the Eastern Conference – open the MLS round at Houston Dynamo on Friday, having failed to win their last three fixtures.
Marsch and Co. conceded two goals in the second half as they lost 2-1 against Seattle Sounders last week, following on from a 2-0 loss to Philadelphia Union and a goalless draw with FC Dallas.
The Red Bulls’ winless streak comes after they lost only one of their first nine games but Marsch is keeping the faith in his tactics.
“I understand why people have questions about different things,” Marsch said ahead of their trip to Houston, who are eighth in the Western Conference. “That’s what happens when you don’t get results that you need and should be getting.
“If we were playing in games where we were outmatched, where we were outplayed, then I think there would be more cause for concern about where we’re at with different things.
“I’ve tried to say from the beginning that this is a process. We’ve changed a lot of things, but that doesn’t mean that all of sudden, overnight, there’s going to be success.”
The Red Bulls are adrift of leaders DC United and New England Revolution in the East.
United, who came from behind to topple the Chicago Fire midweek, top the standings by seven points as they bid to extend their unbeaten streak in Washington on Saturday.
Toronto FC – fourth in the table – are United’s opponents, with the capital club going 20 matches without defeat in all competitions at Robert. F Kennedy Memorial Stadium.
The Revolution are in action on the same day, travelling to in-form Portland Timbers, who have won back-to-back matches.
Elsewhere on Saturday, reigning champions Los Angeles Galaxy host Vancouver Whitecaps with only two points separating the teams in the West.
The Sounders are away to Sporting Kansas City, East cellar-dwellers New York City – linked with Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo – travel to the Union, Columbus Crew entertain Montreal Impact, while the Fire welcome Orlando City to Chicago.
Real Salt Lake can end a two-match losing streak with victory over the West’s basement side Colorado Rapids on Sunday.
San Jose Earthquakes’ hosting of slumping Dallas concludes the round.