Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Round 18 Preview - #CCMvADL

Versatile Adelaide United defender, Tarek Elrich, is confident the Reds can claim all three points ahead of their crucial encounter with the Central Coast Mariners at GIO Stadium in Canberra on Sunday afternoon.

United will be looking to build on from their draw with the Wellington Phoenix last time out, as they hope to surge up the table with 10 league games remaining.

In the corresponding fixture earlier this season, the Reds suffered a 1-2 loss at Coopers Stadium in Round 5.

As alluded to, Adelaide secured a 2-2 home stalemate against the Phoenix, while the Mariners enjoyed a 2-0 win over Perth Glory in Gosford.

Reds full-back, Elrich, admits tomorrow’s match against the ninth placed Mariners is a massive game in the context of the season.

“We know the importance of this game for both teams,” Elrich said.

“Even though it’s a bottom of table clash, I don’t think both teams deserve to be at that end of the table.

“I think Central Coast have been playing some decent stuff and some entertaining stuff, but so have we.

“So hopefully we can put on a good show and get a win that’s way overdue.”

With the Reds struggling to find the back-of-the-net with regularity this campaign, the 30-year-old revealed he is not overly concerned, instead optimistic the side’s fortunes will change up front soon.

“I think that’s why we’re not panicking so much because we know we can create chances,” Elrich said.

“And we know that in games we’re probably a bit unlucky to be on the receiving end of some losses and some goals.

“We’re aware it’s our responsibility, we didn’t take those chances.

“The longer the season goes and the more chances we miss, the smaller the goal feels.

“Hopefully we score some goals and the boys can get their confidence up and that can have a roll on effect for the rest of the season.”

The Reds have registered four wins in their past five league meetings against the Central Coast, and have also tasted success in two of their previous three away trips against them.

Elrich also praised the impact that the younger players have had at the Club this campaign, particularly after admirable performances from United trio Nikola Mileusnic, Marc Marino and Riley McGree against the ‘Nix.

“I think the younger boys in the squad probably at the start of the season were looking at it thinking they might play a few minutes here and there,” he continued.

“But they’ve actually had important roles for us and have played a number of games and started in them.

“We’ve got a few boys stepping in now (with Ryan Kitto’s injury) and Central Coast and us are desperate for the three points.”

Adelaide United will face Central Coast Mariners in Round 18 of the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season on Sunday, 5 February at GIO Stadium. Kick-off is at 4.30pm ACDT.