At their press conference ahead of Adelaide United’s clash with Brisbane Roar, Marco Kurz discussed the strengths of Saturday’s opponents, while Johan Absalonsen was ecstatic to overcome a protracted quad injury.
The Reds return to Coopers Stadium four days since grinding out a 1-0 home win over the Central Coast Mariners on Boxing Day.
Last round, Brisbane conceded two goals in three minutes against Perth Glory to lose 2-1 at Suncorp Stadium.
Kurz’s men most recent meeting against Saturday’s opponents was back in Round 2 when the Reds recorded a dramatic 2-1 comeback victory thanks to Ryan Kitto and a 92nd minute winner from Absalonsen.
Kurz was confident his side have fully recuperated for the game following the short turnaround.
“I think we have had enough time to recover (for the game),” he said.
“We started the recovery after the game directly in the dressing room with the foam rollers and we ordered pasta.
“Always the same and we are ready for the game and we have a good recovery.”
The German tactician went on to confirm that Daniel Adlung is fit for the match and was delighted to finally have Absalonsen available.
“Daniel (Adlung) is ready, he’s fit for the game tomorrow and also Johan is in the final squad,” he said.
“I’m very happy about this because for a long time we missed him and now he’s ready maybe to play or he’s ready for the squad.
“So it’s a good moment for us and also for Johan.”
Despite Brisbane occupying ninth spot in the league standings, Kurz said the Reds cannot underestimate their quality.
“I think we make a mistake when we speak about the injuries of Brisbane,” he said.
“I think it’s very important to speak about the strengths of this team, I think they’ve lost games but very close.
“It’s a good team, they’ve (Massimo) Maccarone a very good striker in their ranks and for us it’s very important to be focused for this game.
“If we make the mistake to think that’s it’s a simple game then we will lose.”
Meanwhile, Absalonsen was thrilled to be returning to the matchday squad after nine weeks on the sidelines with a quad injury.
“It’s fantastic, I missed it for the last nine weeks it’s been rough, hard, especially mentally,” he said.
“Because in the beginning I thought it was four to six weeks and then suddenly it got a bit more complicated in the end and now I’m here nine weeks after.
“It’s a relief and it’s really good to be back in the squad again.”
The former Danish international went on to elaborate why he thought the injury took longer to overcome than the initial prognosis.
“I think maybe I underestimated the injury a little bit,” he explained.
“It was a tendon injury and I maybe treated it as a muscle injury and that was maybe my mistake.
“So it was a bit more complicated and it needed a bit more time than I expected, but now it doesn’t matter because I’m back again.
“And all the hard work I’ve been doing the last nine weeks hopefully pays off.”
Watching from the terraces, Absalonsen believed the team was heading in the right direction and will only improve moving forward.
“I’ve learnt that we have had a good team,” he said.
“And I feel that from the stands we are getting better and better, that we are playing more and more as a team.
“Still remembering this is a young team, a new team and almost all the players got together in July, August.
“So I’ve a good feeling this team is progressing and keeps on playing better and better football.”
Ersan Gülüm returns after serving a one-match suspension for collecting five yellow cards, while the aforementioned Absalonsen is also likely to play some part off the bench. However, Vince Lia (knee) and Baba Diawara (hip) are both absent for the clash.
Last five meetings
1-2 win @ Suncorp Stadium
2-1 win @ Coopers Stadium
4-0 loss @ Suncorp Stadium
1-1 draw @ Coopers Stadium
3-0 win @ Coopers Stadium
Adelaide United host Brisbane Roar in Round 13 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Saturday, 30 December at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 5.05pm ACDT.