Speaking ahead of Adelaide United’s Westfield FFA Cup clash against Melbourne Victory, both Head Coach, Guillermo Amor, and dynamic midfielder, Jimmy Jeggo, believe the Reds have the ingredients to cause their fiercest rivals serious problems at AAMI Park on Tuesday night.
With the stage set for one of the Westfield FFA Cup’s most intense Quarter-Finals in its short history, Adelaide United Head Coach, Guillermo Amor, and midfielder, Jimmy Jeggo, agree the task to overcome the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions, Melbourne Victory, will be difficult, but definitely not impossible.
Amor also stressed the importance of his side’s preparations for the match being thorough enough to triumph over any obstacle that may come their way.
“Our team is in a very good condition,” Amor said. “But we’re coming up against a big team that are very difficult to play against – everybody knows this.
“Playing Victory away, who are the A-League Champions, is hard and the (majority of) supporters will be for them too which makes it more difficult.
“For us, though, it’s a good moment to play them. We’re very prepared for this and the team is going there to enjoy it, but we’re going to Melbourne to win and we’re going there to do everything possible to make sure this happens.
“We must play our game and we must always do this.”
Speaking from a player’s perspective, the message from Jeggo was much the same, the No. 18 stating he and his teammates know what to expect from their foes in what is being anticipated as another fiery matchup to say the least.
“We’ve watched a few clips (of Victory) and we’ll watch a few more before the game, but I don’t think there’ll be massive changes to the way they play,” Jeggo said.
“They’ll be aggressive, they’ll press, and they’re very dangerous when they win the ball back. That worked for them last year and I can’t see them going away from it too much.
“We know what we have to do against them and how we can impose ourselves on the game and that’s mainly what we’ll be focussing on.
“We’re a team that likes to have possession of the ball and we worry about what we do and what we have to do.”
Jeggo also believes the lengthy pre-season has players craving competitive football, likening the Reds to “caged animals”, yearning to resume playing matches of significance.
“The rivalry between the two clubs is massive and it’s always a big occasion when we play. It’s always a good atmosphere and the games are intense and you’ve arguably got two of the better teams in the country going at it.
“Apart from the Sydney FC game (in the FFA Cup Round of 16) though, there have not been many competitive fixtures.
“Obviously with such a long break, we’re almost liked caged animals, desperate to get out and the boys are buzzing for the chance to head out.
“I think you’ll recognise that in the opening 15-20 minutes and I think it’s going to be intense, fast, and furious.
“We had three good clashes against Victory last year and I think the games are always entertaining.
“Both sides try to play football the right way and hopefully it’ll be another cracker tomorrow night.”
But with a couple of injuries weakening the Reds’ attacking options, and suspension ruling United’s Round of 16 winning goal scorer, Dylan McGowan, out of contention, Jeggo and his Reds teammates will have a challenging task ahead of them.
Nevertheless, Amor remains his typically calm self, emphasising the immense belief he has in his squad in being able to overcome such hindrances.
“Pablo Sanchez is not so good and neither is Bruce Djite,” Amor explained.
“Neither player is 100 per cent and they both need rest and, for now, it’s impossible (for them to play).
“But the important players will be the players in good condition and those that will be playing.
“We will travel to Melbourne with 17 players and have some young players part of the squad who will all be ready if we need them.
“Our players have big hearts and they will use their heads to play tomorrow night and this is very important.
“Last season against Victory, the results were in their favour, but we have to look at this game fresh and prepare for it in this moment.
“It’s a cup competition, not the league, and we have to win. The game might be longer than 90 minutes, but I have complete confidence in my players and I am sure they can do the job.
“I hope my players have the same security and belief in themselves as I have in them.
“During the game it’s very possible that things can change very quickly, but I have a lot of confidence in everyone.”
Adelaide United will face Melbourne Victory in the Westfield FFA Cup Quarter-Finals on Tuesday, 22 September 2015 at AAMI Park. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACDT.