Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Round 20 Preview - #NEWvADL
Paul Izzo insists Adelaide United must beat the teams below them on the table, including Newcastle Jets, if they are to finish in the top four come the end of the campaign.
The fourth place Reds lie eight points clear of Newcastle in seventh spot, and with eight matches remaining in the regular season it is very much ‘crunch time’ for the hosts as they aim for a finals berth.
For United, they will be determined to return to winning ways against Newcastle Jets. Marco Kurz’s outfit are also unbeaten in their three previous meetings against them, and secured a dramatic 2-1 victory in their most recent encounter.
“It’s massive that we bounce back straight away,” Izzo told reporters at Adelaide Airport.
“We’ve still got a bit of distance between the bottom four I think and this is a team that we need another three points off of and try and eliminate them from the race.”
Newcastle also head into the match on shorter rest following their 4-1 away loss against Japanese powerhouse Kashima Antlers in an AFC Champions League play-off.
However, Izzo dismissed suggestions fatigue will be an issue for Ernie Merrick’s side, who domestically have prevailed in three of their last five games.
“Obviously they have had a bit of travel in the past few weeks and have played plenty of games,” he said.
“But it can also work in their favour, playing so many games everyone is fit and everyone is ready to step in and do a job.
“We’ll be looking to do our job and focus on getting the three points.”
But while Izzo, 24, said his side must be winning these types of games, he is still preparing for an extremely difficult match against the Jets, who currently sit six points outside of the top six.
“They’re chasing the top six at the moment and they’ve definitely got the squad to do it,” he said.
“So obviously they’ve had a lot of travel and everything but the depth they’ve got in their squad is pretty good.
“So we’re expecting a real tough game on tomorrow.”
Adelaide United face Newcastle Jets in Round 20 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Sunday, 24 February at McDonald Jones Stadium. Kick-off is at 4.30pm ACDT. Live on Fox Sports, and streamed on the My Football Live App and Kayo Sports.