Marco Kurz says Adelaide United cannot afford to take cellar-dwellers Wellington Phoenix lightly ahead of their final regular season home match at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.
The Reds recorded their biggest win of the campaign after downing the second-placed Newcastle Jets 5-2 last week and want to carry that momentum forward.
Another win on Good Friday will be one step closer in wrapping up a place in the top six ahead of two road fixtures in Sydney.
Meanwhile, Wellington drew 2-2 against Brisbane Roar at Westpac Stadium.
Adelaide are unbeaten in their previous seven meetings against the ‘Nix and most recently recorded a 1-0 away victory back in January.
While Wellington remain at the bottom of the table, Kurz was adamant the Reds must play at their optimal level if they were to experience success.
“Maybe they’re not good in form if you see the table, but they’re very good in form with their performance,” Kurz said in the pre-match press conference.
“They played a draw against Brisbane and they missed a couple of chances for the victory and also against Newcastle they had three or four good chances to win.
“And for me it’s a good team they’ve nothing to lose, it’s our third home game but the hardest because everyone expects from us to win.
“But it’s not easy, it’s good to know that we must play on the same level as against Newcastle.”
Adelaide are also undefeated in their past five home matches, capitalising on their home ground advantage in recent times.
“For us we love to play at Coopers Stadium in front of our great fans,” he said.
“I think they support us very good and tomorrow it’s our last home game in the regular season and we want to reach a victory for our fans.”
Kurz further provided an injury update, revealing Baba Diawara has been included but Džengis Čavušević has been ruled out.
“Džengis is out of the squad because he has a knee injury,” he said.
“We don’t know what happens, but we’ll wait for the results from the doctor but he’s not available tomorrow.
“But Baba is back in the squad and the rest of the team are available.”
Kurz said breaking the deadlock in the early stages of the game would be ideal but not critical in their quest to claim the three points.
“We saw against Newcastle (Jets), how good it is to score the first goal,” he continued.
“Also against (Melbourne) City we started very well but we scored no goals.
“If you score an early goal you feel confident but for me I’m happy if we score one more goal than Wellington and we beat them, then I’m happy.”
Adelaide United host Wellington Phoenix in Round 25 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Friday, 30 March at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT.