Bruce Djite says the pressure surrounding the Reds in their push for the Hyundai A-League Premiership is far more beneficial to the squad in comparison to the dismal state they faced earlier this season.
Following Adelaide United’s 0-0 draw with the now league-leaders, Western Sydney Wanderers, on Saturday night, the Reds are now in fourth position and remain firmly amongst this season’s contenders for the Premiership.
And with United and the Wanderers both hotly tipped to be two of the teams to watch out for as potential Champions, Bruce Djite mentioned how Saturday’s Round 24 match at Pirtek Stadium was somewhat of a precursor for the Finals.
“(The match) definitely had a Finals-feel about it and (Pirtek Stadium) is always full with fans that make fantastic noise and create a great atmosphere,” Djite said.
“The intensity of the game was Finals-like and that’s the sort of standard that we’re going to be up against in the Finals.
“It’s a good preview for the Finals, but we’re looking forward to Central Coast Mariners, now, and if we want to win this league we have to get all three points at home.”
As mentioned, Djite and his teammates are coming up against the Mariners this weekend, who are coming off an impressive performance against Sydney FC. Trailing for the majority of the match, Central Coast managed to turn a two-goal deficit around, scavenging a point from what looked an almost certain loss.
Meanwhile, the Reds’ have managed to defeat Tony Walmsley’s men twice already this campaign, once at Coopers Stadium and also at Central Coast Stadium.
However, Djite says United won’t be taking their opposition lightly regardless of their current standing on the Hyundai A-League ladder, but more importantly because the Reds are desperate to finish off their season picking up as many points as possible.
“These last three games will be when the league is decided. (For us) Central Coast Mariners will be our last home game of the season and they’re a good team.
“They had a fantastic comeback against Sydney FC last week, so they’ll come here with confidence and (give us) a tough game.
“But as long as we get the three points, we’ll set ourselves up well for the last two games of the season.
“It’s fantastic to be part (of the race for the Premiership), especially considering where we came from at the start of the season.
“The pressure is there, but it’s pressure that we not only accept, but appreciate.
“To take this responsibility is positive because if we were sitting bottom (of the table) still, with no pressure and playing for fun or whatever, it’s not why we play the game.”
Adelaide United will face Central Coast Mariners in Round 25 of the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season on Sunday, 27 March at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 4.30pm ACDT.