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DC United's Payne confident things will turn for the good

DC United president Kevin Payne is confident the form of the team will turn after five-straight defeats to kick off the 2010 season.

The winless run has got United off to its worst start in club history but Payne believes their luck is due to change.

"Three games in particular are virtually identical. We are the much better team for long stretches of the game," Payne said in an interview with the Washington Post's Soccer Insider.

"Certainly the New England and New York games, we were the far better team for long stretches and the other team didn't threaten and then we have breakdowns in the second half. We get casual on plays, we give up goals, we get punished badly. We are struggling right now to recognize the important moments in the game - either the moments when we have to react with urgency in the attacking end to get a goal and there were balls sitting in the box on rebounds the other day and no one attacking, or we are a little bit asleep on plays that look like they are not dangerous and before you know it, it's in the net."

Payne added that it is vital to remain focused for an entire 90 minutes otherwise it could turn into a long season.

"Regardless of who is on the field, the challenge for Curt (Onalfo) and the coaching staff is to develop our players' mentality that they have to play hard for 90 minutes," he added.

"There are plenty of other teams in this league that are struggling with injuries. Look at New England and the players they are missing. We have to adopt that kind of mentality. We have to go out on the field and fight on every single play."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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