Iain Fyfe knows better than most about the threat that the Reds’ next up opponents in the AFC Champions League pose.
After spending the past year in the K-League, Adelaide United FC defender Iain Fyfe knows better than most about the threat that the Reds- next up opponents in the AFC Champions League pose.
While the Reds are familiar with the Pohang Steelers just like the other two teams in Group E (Bunyodkor and Gamba Osaka), Fyfe-s recent 12 month stint at South Korean club Busan I-Park has made him a valuable source of information ahead of next Tuesday-s third match day.
Speaking publicly for the first time since he returned to Adelaide in early March, Fyfe said he would part some of what he saw and experienced of Pohang to his Reds team mates and the coaching staff as they continue their preparations.
“I-ll probably chat to a few of the boys and just tell them what they (Pohang) are like,” Fyfe said.
“They-re a very good team, they always have been. Adelaide have played them a number of times over the years so we know what they-re all about, we know how good they can be on their day and they got a good result against Gamba, so they-re going to be a tough ask but we-ve beaten them before and we-ve been to their place and got a result so we know what to expect.”
Fyfe was part of United-s AFC Champions League squad in 2010 but suspension saw him miss the Reds- last trip to Pohang, although he did play when the teams met at Hindmarsh that year, a game Adelaide won 1-0.
The Reds have recorded a win and a draw from their two previous matches at the Pohang Steelyard, but the difficulty of the task for the Reds to make it three straight wins from their opening three matches in 2012 is accentuated by the fact that according to Fyfe, Pohang have quality all over the park and will be one of the favourites to take out the K-League from what he has seen.
Fyfe believes achieving a positive result in Pohang will require an extremely strong mental application from the Reds, and having seen United-s first two performances in the competition, he is confident they are up to it.
“The Korean teams are very savvy and in the ACL you-ve got to change it up a little bit…you-ve got to expect things to go against you, you-ve got to be head strong and be smart about things, and that-s how we-ll get a result over there,” Fyfe said.
“I think it-s just to play the way we-ve been playing in the ACL. We-ve got to adjust a little bit, play a little bit more defensively - no one likes to see defensive football but unfortunately you-ve got to play this way away from home and especially over in Korea.”
“We-ll look to attack as much as we can but most importantly we have to be organised and that-s the main thing.”
Fyfe played half an hour off the bench in the 1-1 draw with Melbourne Heart last Friday night in his first game back as he continues to build up to peak fitness.
The former Australian representative at U-23, U-20 and U-17 level sighted his fiancé being pregnant and differences with the coach at Busan as major reasons for his move home to the Reds, a decision he could not be happier with.
“It was just the right move for me at the right time,” Fyfe said.
“I-d like to go back (to Korea) one day but at the moment I-m very happy to be here in Adelaide.”
“It-s great being back. It-s my home city so I-m always happy to come back here. I-ve got family, friends and I know a number of the boys in the team and they-re great guys, and the new boys are good characters as well.”