Adelaide United midfielder, Jordan O’Doherty, affirms his side is primed and ready ahead of Saturday night’s blockbuster Original Rivalry clash against Melbourne Victory.
The Reds are enjoying a three-match unbeaten run and have lost just once in their past seven games.
Last round 10-man Adelaide produced a spirited fightback to record a 2-2 draw against Central Coast Mariners, while Kevin Muscat’s side were defeated 2-1 by Brisbane Roar a fortnight ago.
Indeed, Adelaide are also undefeated against the Victory since Marco Kurz has been at the helm in the pair’s three matches in all competitions this year.
O’Doherty stressed the importance of collecting a win against their arch rivals in order to extend their lead over the fifth-placed Victory to six points.
“It’s the Original Rivalry which is an important aspect to it,” he said.
“But they’re also right behind us on the table and one win gets them into fourth spot.
“So we are very wary of that and it’s going to be a big game and I imagine it’ll be pretty exciting as well.”
The 20-year-old midfielder also anticipated another intense affair, given what is at stake in the context of their respective seasons.
“It’s always got a lot on the line because of that rivalry aspect,” he said.
“But like I said even because of where we are on the table it’s going to be heated and I imagine that both teams will be out there to give their all.”
History will be made if the Reds manage to prevail as it will be the inaugural time Adelaide would have recorded successive away triumphs over their opponents.
And there will be no shortage of motivation.
“I think the whole season this season we’ve had a fighting attitude,” he said.
“And it’s important that we are one hundred per cent hungry and ready for every game.
“Everyone is completely ready and we definitely try and gee each other before the game and obviously it’s a big game so we have to be as ready for it as possible.”
O’Doherty believed Adelaide can take a lot of confidence heading into the business end of the campaign with players nearing a return from injury.
He praised the squad’s collective resolve and depth due to the impressive contributions made by every player when called upon.
“I think every player that’s had to come in in place of the players that have been missing have done a job,” he continued.
“And every single person in the team knows what they have to do and everyone is capable of it as well.
“So it all comes down to the team having a fighting spirit and it doesn’t matter if we have players missing because we’ll all do the same job.”
Last five meetings
1-2 win @ Etihad Stadium
2-2 draw @ Adelaide Oval
2-1 loss @ AAMI Park
0-2 loss @ Coopers Stadium
1-2 loss @ Coopers Stadium
Adelaide United will face Melbourne Victory in Round 21 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Saturday, 24 February at AAMI Park. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT.