Absalonsen praises Reds’ second-half attitude

Johan Absalonsen was thrilled to open his Reds account and praised his side’s second-half display following a dominant 3-0 win over Melbourne Victory in the round of 16 of the Westfield FFA Cup on Wednesday night.

It was scoreless at the break, before absolute screamers from Absalonsen and Nathan Konstandopoulos sandwiched between George Blackwood’s converted penalty inflicted Victory their heaviest defeat in South Australia since 2007.

Absalonsen recounted the events that led to him breaking the deadlock in the 53rd minute and shifting the momentum into United’s favour.

“I turned around and saw I had space in front of me,” he said.

“And the defender wasn’t pressuring me and then I was taking a standing shot and luckily it went in.”

The Dane also admitted scoring in just his second official Reds appearance was a huge relief moving forward.

“Of course (it’s a big relief),” he said.

“It’s always good to score and always good to get the feeling of scoring goals because that creates more goals in the future.

“So it was a good feeling and especially a good feeling for the team that we made it 1-0 to turn the game a bit.”

Absalonsen attributed the team’s change in approach after the break as the main reason behind the Reds’ rousing second-half display.

“I think it was our attitude in the second-half,” he said.

“We came out strong and we came out pressuring them high and we won some balls and got some confidence.

“And then we got the 1-0 goal and that in my opinion turned the game around and after that it was pretty much us that decided the game.”

The 31-year-old, who has two caps for Denmark, admitted he noticed Adelaide’s fitness levels were superior to that of Melbourne as a result of implementing double training sessions in pre-season.

“I think we did (overrun them in the second stanza),” he reflected.

“But that’s also because we had the mental and physical overload in the game in the second-half.

“So I think that’s why we got also physically better because in the first-half we ran a lot and we were closing wholes all the time because they were playing around us and playing well.

“But in the second-half we won some balls and started playing football.”

Absalonsen said the team was taking the Cup one game at a time but said these competitive matches were ideal preparation leading into the Hyundai A-League season.

“We take it step by step, one game at a time,” he continued.

“Yesterday was a fantastic feeling and a fantastic game, now we must see who we draw in the next round.

“But no matter what, this a really good pre-season game.

“Instead of playing friendly games we’re playing FFA Cup games and that’s very good for pre-season before the A-League.”