Every game a must win: Hughes

Reds midfielder Adam Hughes believes second spot is still achievable and that the scenario for the Reds’ run into the finals is simple – nothing less than full points from their remaining three games will be enough.

Reds midfielder Adam Hughes believes second spot is still achievable and that the scenario for the Reds- run into the finals is simple - nothing less than full points from their remaining three games will be enough.

Despite Saturday night-s loss to the Central Coast Mariners, which left the Reds four points behind the team from Gosford with three games to play and now needing the Mariners to slip up for any chance of reclaiming second position, Hughes says the Reds have definitely not thrown in the towel.

Adelaide United faces another tough assignment against Gold Coast United at Skilled Park on Wednesday night before finishing the minor round with home matches against the Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory.

Hughes says the Reds- playing group is fully aware of what is required from these three encounters if they are to have any chance of securing a double chance come the business end of the season.

“Every game from here on in is a must win, so we-ve got to make sure we go about the business in the right way and pick up maximum points from our last three matches,” Hughes said.

“Mathematically second spot is still there, we-ve just got to rely on some other results going our way and making sure we pick up maximum points.”

The Reds were caught on the back foot against the Central Coast after the Mariners scored twice in the opening half, the deficit in the end proving too much for United to peg back.

As the Reds failed to match it with a committed and mentally switched on Mariners outfit in the opening 45 minutes, Hughes says it will be imperative that the Reds storm out of the blocks early when they take on a Gold Coast United team that is also still in calculations for a coveted top two.

“I think we-ve just got to come out of the gates a little bit quicker and a bit sharper,” Hughes said.

“We seemed a little bit off the pace in the first half, we picked it up a bit in the second, but it-s just a matter of coming out that little bit quicker and keeping that going for the 90 minutes, which we know we can do.”

“We have to go out there in our minds knowing that if we pick up points and the Central Coast drop points then second spot is still there for us, so we-ve got to go out there and go for the win in every match from here on in.”

While the Reds have minimal recovery time ahead of the trip to the ‘glitter strip-, the short turnaround between games does provide Hughes and co with the opportunity to quickly bounce back and rectify the defeat to the Mariners.

Hughes, who has only missed one game this season, which came through suspension, is looking forward to running out on Wednesday night in what is another game that has plenty riding on the result.

“Recovery wise it-s not the best having only a few days between games, but at the same time we get to come out and play again without having to do too many training sessions, so we-ll be able to go and hopefully get a result,” Hughes said.

“It-s a matter of everyone being able to stay fit now from here on in, especially once the finals start, and for us to try and get as high up the table as we possibly can.”

In a positive for the Reds heading into the midweek fixture, Dutch winger Andy Slory, Croatian defender Dario Bodrusic and former North Queensland utility Osama Malik could all come into consideration for the match after the trio all completed a full training session in scorching conditions at Hindmarsh Stadium this morning.

Head Coach Rini Coolen is set to decide on his travelling party for the Gold Coast following training tomorrow.