Adelaide United centre-back, Ersan Gülüm, says the Reds have plenty of confidence going into their massive Elimination Final clash with rivals Melbourne Victory.
Sunday night’s match at AAMI Park will be the first Original Rivalry meeting in the Hyundai A-League Finals Series since 2009.
Gülüm admitted he was looking forward to the prospect of playing in his first-ever finals game in Australia.
The ex-Beşiktaş defender started by praising the professionalism and discipline in the team’s performance against the Western Sydney Wanderers to prevail 3-2.
He said that the way Adelaide approached the game and were determined to claim the three points, despite already sealing a finals appearance showed a ruthless mentality.
“It’s very hard for a team that’s already qualified for the finals and playing against a team that’s trying to make the finals,” he said.
“You’ve always got to be mentally and physically prepared for a game like that.
“Because it’s the last game of the season for us and we’ve qualified but physically and mentally it’s a different preparation for us compared to the other games during the season.
“To be honest I was expecting the Wanderers to be more aggressive on the ball than what they were because it’s their final game to make finals.
“I think we as a team played really well, I think we were very professional in what we did.
“But full credit to the boys and the coaching staff this year, we’ve made finals and we’ve got a great game coming up.”
Gülüm revealed the team already had plenty of confidence and self-belief before their pulsating win over the Wanderers.
But he intimated that beating WSW came at a good time to regain some momentum and return that winning feeling after the loss to Sydney FC in Round 26.
“I think the team already has that confidence there from the previous games,” he stated.
“I think the boys are full of confidence and I think if we play the way we do play and have been playing for the last three weeks prior to the Sydney game I think we’ll play very well against them.”
Gülüm believed the key to having success against the Victory was to focus on their own strengths and not be consumed with what their counterparts do.
The Australian-born Turkish International mentioned the intensity in finals football increases and therefore limiting errors will also be crucial.
“I don’t think we’ve to worry about that too much what they’re going to do,” he said.
“If anything we just worry about what we’re going to do.
“Finals is a very different feeling, it’s a very different football style of playing.
“Finals is all about errors and mistakes and you have to make the least amount of mistakes to win and I think we’ll just play our game and play to our strengths.
“I think when we play to our strengths and play simple football and the football that Marco (Kurz) wants us to play I think we’re a very hard team to beat and we’ll show that on Sunday.”
Adelaide United face Melbourne Victory in the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Elimination Final on Sunday, 22 April at AAMI Park. Kick-off is at 5.30pm ACST.