Jordan O’Doherty insists Adelaide United will be ready for their #OriginalRivalry clash with bitter rivals Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
The Reds will look to bounce back from Wednesday’s 0-3 loss to Gamba Osaka in the AFC Champions League, as a hectic schedule awaits Guillermo Amor’s troops.
However, United will hope to return to the form which defeated Newcastle Jets 1-0 at Coopers Stadium last weekend.
This season, Adelaide have suffered two setbacks against the second-placed Victory, but overcame Kevin Muscat’s men in their last visit across the border.
O’Doherty dismissed suggestions the rivalry had less significance since the two sides are situated at opposite ends of the table heading into the match.
“The rivalry never changes, it’s still the original rivalry,” O’Doherty said.
“We still take it seriously as we would if we were right next to them on the table.
“We take it as a serious game, like we take every game as a serious game.
“They’ve got a quality side and we’re up for it.”
The 19-year-old revealed the key to beating Melbourne was to keep faith in the game plan and approach the encounter with a positive mindset.
“We’ve to beat them by playing our game,” he said.
“I think we’ve been unlucky this season, but we’ve shown that we can do it.
“We’ve got a quality at the end of the day and any team can beat any team in the A-League.
“We just go into the game with full confidence and try and beat them.”
If United do claim the three points on Saturday, it will be the first time the Club has secured consecutive away wins against their arch rivals.
Fresh from making his Reds debut in the ACL, striker Baba Diawara is in line to feature in the Hyundai A-League against the Victory and O’Doherty welcomed his inclusion.
“Baba (Diawara) is looking good, he hasn’t played a lot of football recently,” he continued.
“He hasn’t had a full game since December, so he’s just getting back into the swing of things.
“And hopefully he’ll be a lot more involved with our schedule coming up.”
With the forward already accumulating 14 Hyundai A-League appearances this campaign, O’Doherty admitted he and fellow youngster Riley McGree did not expect to have such influential roles in the team.
“Obviously we probably didn’t expect to have this much game time this season as we’ve had,” O’Doherty said.
“We’re just taking it in our stride, we’ve been thrown into the deep end a little bit.
“But we’re working and just trying to get used to the pace of the A-League as well.”
Adelaide United will face Melbourne Victory in Round 21 of the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season on Saturday, 25 February at AAMI Park. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT.