Adelaide United defender, Michael Jakobsen, says his side must be ready from the outset and assert their dominance early against Lions FC in the FFA Cup 2018 Round of 16 at Perry Park on Wednesday night.
The Reds will be full of confidence ahead of their clash but wary of Lions’ qualities having clinched the National Premier League Queensland title with relative ease.
Adelaide advanced to the last 16 following a convincing 3-0 win against Central Coast Mariners earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Lions FC recorded a 3-2 win over fellow Queensland outfit Olympic FC in thrilling fashion in the Round of 32.
Speaking to reporters at Adelaide Airport, Jakobsen said his side must stamp their authority on the match and illustrate the gap between the National Premier League and Hyundai A-League.
“It’s a good opponent and I think we’ve trained well the last four days,” Jakobsen said.
“The coach has been making us aware of what they’re good at.
“And I think we’ll come out with a strong impression and go for the win of course and we need to make sure that there’s a difference between NPL and the A-League, so we can’t take it easy.”
But Jakobsen stressed it will not be a walk in the park against the best local club from Queensland.
Lions FC finished seven points clear at the top of the table, winning 23 of their 26 league games. They also scored 84 goals while boasting the best defensive record – conceding a meagre 11 goals.
“That’s a challenge, we know all of the stats of what they’ve done also in the NPL,” he said.
“They’ve been outstanding and we know that we need to be on our toes from the first whistle and I hope that they’re not going to come out and surprise us with anything. We should be prepared and 100 per cent focused from the first whistle.”
Jakobsen said he enjoys the high-pressure situation that comes with cup football.
He stated that playing as many competitive games as possible instead of solely pre-season friendlies more than eight weeks out from the Hyundai A-League commencing acts as another incentive for the players to try and pass each round and progress to the FFA Cup Final.
“It’s a final,” he said. “There’s a lot of finals coming up if you want to win a trophy.
“So this is just a part of it and it’s enjoyable.
“I think everyone is keen on getting to the next stage so we’ve something to look forward to instead of nine weeks of pre-season with nothing on the line.”
FFA Cup Record
|Lions FC||Adelaide United|
|2014 - Did not qualify||2014 - Champions|
|2015 - Round of 16||2015 - Quarter finals|
|2016 - Did not qualify||2016 - Round of 32|
|2017 - Did not qualify||2017 - Runners-up|
Adelaide United face Lions FC in the Round of 16 of the FFA Cup 2018 on Wednesday, 29 August at Perry Park. Kick-off is at 7.00 PM ACST.