Building early season momentum crucial says Izzo

Adelaide United goalkeeper, Paul Izzo, says starting the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season well will go a long way to building confidence amongst the squad.

The Reds kick-off their campaign away to Wellington Phoenix on Sunday afternoon, desperate to begin the season with a win.

Izzo said claiming the three points would be ideal to hit the ground running in order to build momentum.

“I think confidence is a massive factor in this league,” Izzo said.

“If we can start well and get a good result, week by week we just want to keep building that confidence on and on.”

Izzo further said their Westfield FFA Cup run has been extremely beneficial leading into the season.

“It’s been massive especially seeing it’s pre-season,” he said. “It’s good to see all the hard work we’ve put in is actually paid off.

“Obviously we had a bit of a wake-up call last week in a friendly game and that’s also another positive especially straight before the season.”

🗣️ @P_izzo says the boys are raring to go ahead of our @ALeague season opener against @WgtnPhoenixFc #AUFC pic.twitter.com/otIBy2zvaZ

— Adelaide United FC (@AdelaideUnited) October 4, 2017

Ahead of the Round 1 clash, Izzo said the team have become accustomed with Kurz’s style of play.

The Reds have been impenetrable in competitive matches over the off-season, yet to concede a goal in three Westfield FFA Cup matches.

“Everyone is pretty familiar with the German philosophy,” he said.

“It’s very disciplined and well-structured and Marco has put that into place from day one.

“He’s set his standards and his rules and it’s just a matter of how well we can follow it and hopefully we can follow it as well as we can throughout the whole season.”

While Izzo is the current starting goalkeeper, he is not taking anything for granted and said the competition for places is healthy.

“I like to not think about it like that (that he’s guaranteed the number one spot),” he said.

“Obviously Daniel (Margush) is still very healthy competition and we’re battling hard against each other.

⏱️ Waiting patiently. The countdown to the @ALeague 2017/18 season is on... #AUFC #ALeague

📰 Season Preview: https://t.co/hrmxETJNK1 pic.twitter.com/bzgpntLqRQ

— Adelaide United FC (@AdelaideUnited) October 4, 2017

“And we all know what it’s like to bide your time and wait for your opportunity.

“So I think that in itself is a big enough pressure for each of us to perform to the best we can whenever the chance comes.”

The Phoenix will be without Tom Doyle, Andrew Durante and Michael McGlinchey for the clash, who are all absent on international duty with New Zealand.

Despite the trio missing, Izzo stressed it will remain a tough match.

“Previous times I’ve played Wellington and they’ve been understrength with six or seven internationals out,” he insisted.

“And every time they’ve stepped up and put in fantastic performance and I’ve even been involved in defeats when they’re understrength.

“So you can’t underestimate anyone in this league and in this moment or this year, so we’re not going to pay much attention to that all."

Adelaide United will face Wellington Phoenix in Round 1 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Sunday, 8 October at Westpac Stadium. Kick-off is at 2.30pm ACDT.