George Blackwood conceded the enforced tactical changes contributed to Adelaide United’s lack of polish in the final third against Sydney FC on Friday night.
The undermanned Reds lost 2-0 to the Sky Blues at Leichhardt Oval, and have scored a combined two goals in their previous four matches.
Adelaide were without their two recognised central defenders, forcing Marco Kurz to employ a 3-5-2 formation which at times also resembled a 5-3-2.
Despite the tactical tweaks, the Reds for large periods of the game appeared to be in control, though missed quality in the final third.
Blackwood felt there were mitigating circumstances why Adelaide lacked a bit of cohesion up front, with the likes of Isaías and Craig Goodwin playing in more withdrawn positions which prevented them joining the offensive phase consistently.
“I think it’s a mixture of a few things,” Blackwood told Fox Sports when asked why the team struggled to click in attack.
“Obviously we had a makeshift back five today so it disrupted things a little bit all around the pitch.
“It’s a little bit frustrating, but we’re getting some good chances so that’s a positive.”
Adelaide’s defeat means the likes of Melbourne City and Wellington Phoenix can close the gap on the fourth-place Reds.
However, Blackwood was quick to dispel suggestions that the team is apprehensive about their dip in form and their standing in the top four.
United has a week off before hosting ladder leader Perth Glory at Coopers Stadium on Friday, 15 March.
“We’re not concerned,” he said.
“We just want to take it one game at a time, I think we’ve got Perth up next.
“So we’ll look at them and try to get three points against them and then work towards the next game.
“We’re just taking it one game at a time, we’re not concerned though.”
Adelaide United host Perth in Round 22 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Friday, 15 March at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT. Gates open 6.20pm.