Josep Gombau says the Reds can be proud of their season despite falling short of a coveted Hyundai A-League Grand Final berth on Saturday night.
The Reds’ campaign came to a shuddering halt at the hands of Sydney FC as they were crushed 4-1 in a cracking Semi-Final at Allianz Stadium.
It’s a shattering way for this talented Adelaide squad to end their campaign but Gombau insists it’s been a success and has vowed they will come back even stronger next season.
“We are disappointed today and not happy but if you make a big picture of what the season was I’m satisfied,” the Reds boss said.
“We played good games, did good football and finished third in the league on the ladder which is not easy.
“We got an Asian Champions League spot for next season which is very nice and we won the [Westfield FFA] Cup.
“With all these things you have to be satisfied for the season. Today of course is not the best day to be happy with all this and we wanted to go all the way and win the final but it’s not possible [now].”
The Reds went behind early on through Bernie Ibini’s goal but created a host of good chances before and after Alex Brosque’s quickfire double either side of the half-time break.
Even after Craig Goodwin’s 74th minute goal which closed the deficit to 3-1, Adelaide had four or five more great opportunities but failed to make them count.
“It was an equal game but the difference was when Sydney had chances they scored and we had three or four chances and we didn’t,” Gombau lamented.
“The second goal [before half-time] was difficult because after that you are two behind and have to take a risk.
“We went with three at the back to try and get a result. The third goal from my position was offside but I don’t want to complain about this.
“In the end this is football. You have to put the ball in the net, Sydney put the ball in the net and we didn’t.”
Gombau refused to give an opinion on who he thought would win next Sunday’s decider between Melbourne Victory and the Sky Blues at AAMI Park.
While admitting those two clubs have the resources to be powerhouses of the competition, Gombau is adamant his side can close the gap next season.
“For me the league is very equal,” he said.
“They [Victory and Sydney] are the big clubs, have more facilities, more members, can bring in good marquee players and spend a lot of money. It’s true but this is the same in every single league.
“We can’t complain. It’s different but it’s not an excuse. We have to fight with what we have.
“We have to improve the quality of our game. We think we can do another step and have more improvement in our system.”
Gombau said he hoped to bring in at least “two or three” new players to help improve the squad.