Marco Kurz believes his players must remain highly focused as Adelaide United welcome Central Coast Mariners at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night.
The Reds come into the clash having won two consecutive matches and have suffered just the solitary loss in their past six games.
The Mariners, meanwhile, are currently enduring a 10-match winless spell and lost 2-1 to Western Sydney Wanderers last time out.
A victory for United would consolidate fourth spot on the table, by moving five points clear of the fifth-placed Melbourne Victory while closing the gap on Melbourne City – who sit third – to just two points.
Kurz warned his players’ concentration levels must be high in order to secure a third successive triumph and maintain their finals aspirations.
“The key message is that firstly we stay in a good position that’s the reason for the hard work in the last weeks and the pre-season,” he said in the pre-game press conference.
“That we stay now in a good position and we know with a victory we come closer to our big goal of finals.
“But also we have a lot of respect for our opponents tomorrow because it’s a very good team.”
The South Australians have prevailed in their previous two encounters against CCM this campaign, most recently notching a 1-0 win on Boxing Day.
“I think in Round 12 they played well and we had the luck of the game in a lot of situations,” he said.
“They can beat every team in one game for example Sydney FC.
“It’s a good team but we are awake for tomorrow and focused.
“Our aim is to play well and play successful for the Club and our fantastic fans.”
With both teams rested following the week off due to the split round, Kurz insisted Adelaide cannot afford to make a sluggish start.
“Not from us we cannot start slow,” he affirmed.
“Our style will be the same, if we play better than Central Coast in the offence and the defence then we will have a good chance for a win.”
Kurz was also pleased with how new signing Džengis Čavušević has settled in following his arrival last week.
“I’m very happy that (Džengis) Čavušević is now in our team,” he revealed.
“He has been training with us seven times and I think every day he has been getting better with his fitness and his understanding of the football we play.
“That’s important but it will still take time for the boy (to adjust) but I’m sure he will help us in the last eight games.
“He’s a massive striker with strengths in the box and that’s what we need and tomorrow he will stay in the squad.”
Last five meetings
1-0 win @ Coopers Stadium
1-2 win @ Central Coast Stadium
2-3 win @ Central Coast Stadium
2-1 loss @ GIO Stadium Canberra
1-2 loss @ Coopers Stadium
Adelaide United host Central Coast Mariners in Round 20 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Saturday, 17 February at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT.