Adelaide United Head Coach, Marco Kurz, revealed he is intrigued to see how his side will fare against Central Coast Mariners in the FFA Cup 2018 Round of 32 at Marden Sports Complex.
After three pre-season friendlies this will be the Reds’ maiden competitive game of the 2018/19 season.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Kurz said his side have made gradual improvement each week and now face their first genuine test on Wednesday night.
“Well I think after six weeks in the pre-season we’re now happy to have our first official game in the FFA Cup,” Kurz said.
“The team looks good and I think we’ve improved step-by-step in the pre-season but everybody knows we still have work to do.
“I’m looking forward to the game tomorrow and also I’ll be interested to see how we perform against a strong A-League team.”
The Reds finished as runners-up last season and Kurz was confident his side could go one better in this year’s iteration of the competition.
“I think we had a good experience last year with the cup games and our aim tomorrow is to reach the next round,” he said.
“But the biggest aim is to reach the final again that’s our job in the pre-season.”
The Reds boast an invincible record at Marden, winning all three of their previous Cup matches at the venue.
Adelaide have never lost a game against Hyundai A-League opposition on home soil in the tournament’s history.
Meanwhile, Central Coast have not advanced beyond the first stage of the FFA Cup since 2014 when they were incidentally knocked out in the semi-finals by Adelaide 3-2.
However, Kurz dismissed suggestions it would be an easy game due to the Mariners’ high turnover of players during this off-season.
The former Schalke 04 defender said they will be just as determined as United to progress to the next round.
“We expect to win every game,” he insisted.
“But you’ve to play and you’ve to perform better than the opponents.
“I expect tomorrow a very strong team from Central Coast with the same aim as us, they want to reach the next round.
“They’ve got a lot of experienced players with (Matt) Simon and (Michael) McGlinchey, it’s a good team for me and tomorrow we’ll see which one is the better one.”
Kurz also confirmed three players that have been ruled out of the clash with the trio nursing respective injuries.
“At the moment it’s Daniel Margush, George Blackwood and Nikola Mileusnic,” he said.
“The rest of the squad is fit and available and now it’s up to me to put the 16 player squad for tomorrow.”
FFA Cup Record
|Adelaide United||Central Coast Mariners|
|2014 – Champions||2014 – Semi-finals|
|2015 – Quarter finals||2016 – Round of 32|
|2016 – Round of 32||2017 – Round of 32|
|2017 – Runners-up||2018 – Round of 32|
Adelaide United host Central Coast Mariners in the Round of 32 of the FFA Cup 2018 on Wednesday, 1 August at Marden Sports Complex. Kick-off is at 7.00 PM ACST.