Elsey warns Reds must be wary of Mariners’ speedy attackers

At his press conference Jordan Elsey spoke about his health and the need to contain the Central Coast Mariners’ potent attackers at Coopers Stadium on Boxing Day.

The Reds will be after a belated Christmas present come Tuesday night – the three points – as they look to bounce back from a controversial 2-1 loss to Newcastle Jets in Round 11.

Elsey started out by saying that having a few days off following a demanding couple of weeks has helped the squad recuperate.

“I think it’s a good thing we have had a pretty busy schedule over the last month,” he said.

“So the boys had two days off the last two days, so it’s good to recover and get the legs right.

“And now we are training until the big game Tuesday.”

Having previously suffered two broken wrists as well as two serious knee injuries, Elsey is fitter than he has ever been.

The centre-back has played in every minute of every match across all competitions, with the exception of the opening day of the season when he made a 27 minute substitute appearance in Wellington.

He said this season it is the strongest he has felt in his entire career.

“All that stuff is behind me now and I feel the fittest I’ve ever been,” he said.

“I know it doesn’t mean much but my skinfolds are the lowest they’ve been and my VO2 max (maximal oxygen consumption) is good.

“And I feel confident on the ball and I can really take leadership in games and push on and help the boys.”

The 23-year-old also went on to thank Head Coach, Marco Kurz, for showing belief in him during pre-season, while returning from a second anterior cruciate injury.

“Him giving faith in me, re-signing me obviously was a big confidence boost,” he said.

“And it’s just been a gradual growth since pre-season and I’m just looking forward and not looking backwards.”

Elsey admitted whoever partners him in defence will have to be wary of Central Coast’s dangerous attacking threats in what he expects to be a difficult game on Boxing Day.

“Mariners are a very good team,” he said.

“They play good attacking football and it’s a little bit unpredictable up front.

“They have a few playmakers which is good and me and Reegs (Taylor Regan) or me and Ben Warland will have to nullify that.

“And we are looking forward to a big game at home, we haven’t been home for two weeks now, so looking forward to a big crowd and a big game on Boxing Day.”

Adelaide United host Central Coast Mariners in Round 12 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Tuesday, 26 December at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT.