Ben Halloran believes there are plenty of positives to take away from their 3-2 loss against Sydney FC moving forward.
After trailing 2-0, Adelaide drew level just after the break but were reduced to 10 men against the defending champions before succumbing to a late winner.
However, despite the result, Halloran admitted there were enough encouraging signs to know they are on the right path.
“I think we actually performed quite well, we created a lot of chances,” Halloran said at a press conference at the Adelaide United Training Centre.
“It’s always promising to score a couple of goals as well, but at the end of the day it’s a result driven game so to lose 3-2 especially in the last-minute action is a bit disappointing.”
Nikola Mileusnić’s timely free-quick in the 44th minute rewarded a dominant period for the Reds and lifted the side heading into half-time.
The Reds continued their momentum to start the second-half as Al Hassan Toure latched on to Halloran’s exquisite dinked pass to clinically finish and cancel out Adam Le Fondre’s first-half brace.
Halloran was particularly pleased with the mettle shown from his teammates after conceding two goals and even after the red card to Ryan Strain as they continued to push for a winner.
“Opening game going down 2-0 like that – the first goal was pretty questionable in my opinion – we showed a lot of character,” he said.
“I think that’s typical of Adelaide this year and in the past.
“We started the second-half really, really well – it was just unfortunate we got a red card and it’s always difficult against 11 men.”
Gertjan Verbeek’s attacking philosophy was on full display against the Sky Blues and the 27-year-old said he has enjoyed playing with a little more freedom.
“It’s nice with him that we do everything with the ball,” he said.
“We play a lot of 11v11 in training so it’s a bit easier to improve and also to gel with new players.
“I think the brand of football we’re going to play this year is entertaining, we saw that on the weekend.
“Hopefully we get a few more clean sheets and won’t be as dramatic every weekend, but I think the style of play is good for me and also it suits a lot of the lads in the team.”
Verbeek also handed starting Hyundai A-League debuts to Toure and 18-year-old defensive midfielder Louis D’Arrigo.
“Toure has been a revelation for us,” he said of the 19-year-old, who marked his first Hyundai A-League appearance with that goal.
“To score five goals in his first five games is unheard of and I think he’s destined for really big things in the future.
“The same goes for Louis, he was thrown in the deep end against a good Sydney side and he more than held his own and played very, very well.”
The Reds travel interstate to face Melbourne City on Sunday before playing host to the same opponent three days later in the FFA Cup 2019 Final at Coopers Stadium.
Having already played City three times during the pre-season, Halloran was anticipating a disciplined City side that will be tough to break down.
“We’re still in the process of analysing the Sydney game,” he said.
“We don’t play until Sunday, but we played them a couple of times in pre-season.
“They’re probably a different outfit to last year. Structurally they’re very sound and hard to break down and they also play a very different style of play and formation to Sydney.
“But we’ll spend this analysing them and working out a plan of attack to break them down.”
Adelaide United face Melbourne City in Round 2 of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season on Sunday, 20 October at AAMI Park. Kick-off is at 3.30pm ACDT. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and the My Football Live App.