Beating Gold Coast the only solution for Reds
Adelaide United FC faces its second ‘six point game’ within the space of five days when it tackles fellow top four side Gold Coast United at Skilled Park tomorrow night.
Adelaide United FC faces its second ‘six point game- within the space of five days when it tackles fellow top four side Gold Coast United at Skilled Park tomorrow night.
Following Saturday-s loss to the second placed Central Coast Mariners, which left the Reds four points behind the team from Gosford, Head Coach Rini Coolen sees the result of tomorrow-s midweek encounter being worth twice as much.
A victory at Skilled Park would keep the door for the top two still slightly ajar, while it would also open up a seven point gap to Gold Coast United, who occupy fourth position on the table.
“In that way it is (a six point game). We have to travel there to win the game,” Coolen said.
“I think you have to do it until the last day to find out if you can get the second spot back, it-s not easy because it-s not in our hands, but if we want to be a chance, we have to win the game.”
Winning is the only scenario Coolen has on his mind as the Reds- chances of a top two finish hang on a knife edge, but he remains buoyant that it is not a lost cause just yet.
The Reds boss has thrown down the challenge to his players, stating that three points against the Gold Coast is a must, or they can kiss any chance of reclaiming second spot good-bye.
“I always want to think about the positive. There-s always a chance, if you start winning games you never know what happens,” Coolen said.
“A draw could be a result tomorrow but then you accept that you-ll never be the number two anymore. That-s not professional enough, we want to focus and fight until the last day for the best solution, and the best solution is the chance to be the number two.”
“If you want to be the number two you have to win the game.”
Coolen says he has also made his charges aware of the fact that a loss would put the Reds under threat of being overhauled by their opponents tomorrow night.
“If you lose the game then you have to battle with them (Gold Coast United) for position number three…if you play out a draw more than likely we are the number three, it is a benefit, but you definitely lose position number two, so I think we have to focus everything to win the game,” Coolen said.
The match could be the first time Reds fans get to see new signing Andy Slory in action, Coolen including the Dutch winger in the travelling party after he overcame a thigh problem that has prevented him from being available earlier.
Slory-s addition confirms the attacking mentality Coolen is taking into the game as he prepares to throw caution to the wind and unleash a fleet footed raid on the Gold Coast defence.
“He (Slory) is there. We have four attacking wingers available with (Mathew) Leckie, (Iain) Ramsay, Slory and (Travis) Dodd, we-re going to start at least with two of them, that-s strong I think, and two of them will be on the bench and come in during the game,” Coolen said.
“That-s the reason we-re taking Slory with us, he can do something at the end of the game. He-s fit enough for it, he trained hard for it, and it-s also good for him to have some game time tomorrow for the week after.”
Similarly to the Reds, Gold Coast United also missed the opportunity to put themselves right in the mix for a top two spot following a 2-nil loss to Melbourne Victory last weekend, making tomorrow night-s result just as crucial for the home side.
After conceding two first half goals against the Mariners, the Reds- defence will need to be on its ‘A- game to keep out a Gold Coast side that has knocked in nine goals in their past two home matches, with former Reds striker Bruce Djite in rich scoring form of late and strike partner Shane Smeltz expected to return from illness.
Both teams are coming off a short turnaround and while there has been little time to prepare for this game, a bonus for the Reds is they do not have to wait long for a chance to rectify the result against the Mariners. Kick-Off is at 8.30pm (ACDT).
Hyundai A-League 2010/11 Season - Midweek Gold Coast United v Adelaide United FC Wednesday 2 February 2011, Skilled Park Kick-Off: 8.00pm AEST (8.30pm ACDT) Referee: Chris Beath
TV: Live and exclusive on FOX Sports 2
Adelaide United: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 6.CASSIO, 8.Adam HUGHES, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10.Marcos FLORES, 11.Andy SLORY, 12.Paul REID, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Cameron WATSON, 17.Iain RAMSAY, 19.Mathew LECKIE, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 21.Francisco USUCAR, 22.Osama MALIK *one to be omitted*
In: Andy SLORY (returns from injury), Osama MALIK (promoted) Out: Lucas PANTELIS (omitted) Unavailable: Daniel MULLEN (knee - season), Joe COSTA (knee - season), Joe KEENAN (leg - season), Fabian BARBIERO (ankle - season)
Gold Coast United: 1.Glen MOSS [gk], 2.Steve PANTELIDIS, 3.Michael THWAITE (c), 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 8.ANDERSON, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 11.Bruce DJITE, 13.Bas VAN DEN BRINK, 14.Joel PORTER, 16.Kristian REES, 20.Scott HIGGINS [gk], 21.Golgol MEBRAHTU, 22.Adama TRAORE, 24.John CURTIS, 27.Chris HAROLD, 33.Peter PERCHTOLD, 34.Sung-Kil KIM *three to be omitted*
In: Steve PANTELIDIS (promoted), Shane SMELTZ (return from illness), Zenon CARAVELLA (promoted), Chris HAROLD (promoted) Out: Steve FITZSIMMONS (not selected) Unavailable: Jason CULINA (knee - 5 weeks), ROBSON (hamstring - 7 weeks), Daniel PIORKOWSKI (ankle - indefinite), Matt OSMAN (knee - indefinite)
Adelaide United vs. Gold Coast United - Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record Played 5 - 1 win, 3 draws, 1 loss
26-Nov-2010… W 2-1… 2010/11 Wk 16 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 17-Oct-2010… D 0-0… 2010/11 Wk 10 (Skilled Park) 9-Jan-2010… D 1-1… 2009/10 Rd 22 (Skilled Park) 20-Nov-2009… D 1-1… 2009/10 Rd 15 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 21-Aug-2009… L 0-2… 2009/10 Rd 3 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
At Skilled Park Played 2; Adelaide United 0, Gold Coast United 0, Draws 2
Last time they met 26-Nov-2010 Week 16, Hyundai A-League 2010/11 Season at Hindmarsh Stadium Adelaide United 2 (Reid 10-, Dodd 48-) Gold Coast United 1 (van den Brink45+2-)
Adelaide United last three results Wk 25. 29-1-2011… L 1-2… vs. Central Coast Mariners (Hindmarsh Stadium) Wk 24. 21-1-2011… W 8-1… vs. North Queensland Fury (Hindmarsh Stadium) Wk 22. 9-1-2011… W 4-1… vs. Melbourne Victory (AAMI Park)