Adelaide United defender, Michael Marrone, is confident the Reds can still qualify for the finals if they can notch a succession of results, ahead of the Club’s New Year’s Day away encounter with Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium.
The Reds will be desperate to return to winning ways in an attempt to resurrect their faltering start to the season.
It is the second meeting between the two sides this campaign, after United secured a convincing 2-0 win over the Phoenix in Round 9, courtesy of a magnificent brace from forward Henrique.
Last matchday, United suffered a disappointing 0-4 home loss to Sydney FC, while the New Zealand outfit earned a 2-2 draw in Newcastle against the Jets.
Marrone, who is yet to feature in the Hyundai A-League this season, revealed he has fully recovered from a ruptured Achilles he sustained in last term’s Grand Final.
“I’ve been back in full training for just over 13 weeks now so I’ve had plenty of preparation,” Marrone said.
“And I’ve had a couple of youth games and a 90 minutes behind me so I’m ready to go.
“It’s frustrating in general just to watch games and not be involved let alone when the team isn’t doing well and you want to try and help the team.
“So I’m just looking forward to hopefully getting some minutes.”
The Reds have mustered victories in six of their previous nine games against Wellington and are currently on an impressive three-game winning streak against the New Zealand outfit.
United have also kept the ‘Nix scoreless in their past three games, including a 4-0 rout of Wellington in Adelaide’s last visit across the Tasman in March 2016.
Despite Adelaide’s position on the table, Marrone insists Adelaide can still reach the top six and stressed finding form ahead of the upcoming AFC Champions League in February is crucial.
“We need to get some form whether that’s this game or the next game, we need to find some form leading into the (Asian) Champions League,” Marrone said.
“I mean we’re still a chance for the league as well, we can still make the top six, it’s not that far away.
“So if we pick up a couple of points you never know what can happen in this league.”
Consequently, Marrone said the best approach to turn the Reds’ season around is by playing “without any fear”.
“I think we just have to go out there and just play without any fear and I think that’s the best way of getting a result,” Marrone continued.
“We know we’ve to do better and we know we’ve to pick up points, we’re all professionals in the team and we all want the same goal, to get up the table.”
Adelaide United will face Wellington Phoenix in Round 13 of the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season on Sunday, 1 January at Westpac Stadium. Kick-off is at 5.05pm ACDT.