Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Round 14 Preview – #PERvADL
Ben Halloran insists Adelaide United must be stingier defensively and avoid conceding cheap goals if they are to improve.
The Reds are hoping to return to the winners’ circle in the wake of suffering three successive defeats when they face an in-form Perth Glory outfit.
Adelaide showed some signs of improvement last time out but it was not enough to beat Sydney FC as they lost 2-1.
Halloran urged his teammates to maintain confidence in their abilities in what he expects will be a difficult contest on Saturday night at HBF Park.
“It’s going to be a tough game, Perth are in great form,” he told reporters at a press conference.
“I think we just need to believe in ourselves, it’s often tough when you’ve a bad run of form to pick yourself up and show that confidence.
“But I think we’ve played decent football the last couple of weeks, I don’t think the scorelines necessarily reflected the games.
“So we’re going to have to be at our best and maybe have a little bit of luck and hopefully get the three points.”
The 27-year-old said morale in the squad was still relatively upbeat despite collecting one win in five matches.
“Obviously a few boys are a bit down because it’s only natural when you lose a few games,” he said.
“But we’re a tight knit group, we’ve had success in the past together, we’ve gone through form slumps as well so the morale is still pretty good.”
Meanwhile, Tony Popovic’s team have won their past four games and have outscored their opponents 14-2, keeping three clean sheets during that time.
Perth recorded a comfortable 3-0 win over Central Coast Mariners on New Year’s Eve, before having the bye last weekend.
As for Adelaide they have managed to keep their opponents scoreless in this season’s Hyundai A-League on just one occasion.
It is an area the six-capped Socceroo stressed needs to be rectified.
“Every game you want to get a clean sheet,” he said.
“You don’t go out there to intentionally try to concede goals, so we really need to tighten up at the back, especially with set pieces.
“We’ve conceded way too many set-pieces this season.
“But we do play attacking, free-flowing football, we’ve also scored in every game we’ve played.”
“But I think it’s key to tighten up at the back and it’s much easier to win a game when you don’t concede.”
James Troisi has also been ruled out for the clash with a hamstring strain, however, German midfielder, Mirko Boland is close to being available for selection.
Halloran described the importance of his return, praising his experience.
“I think he’s (Mirko Boland) probably a week away, he’s been back to full training for a couple of weeks now,” he revealed.
“… He’s a massive boost for us, he’s got so much experience and he’s that hard and tough midfielder that we could use at a time like this.
“He’s also got the experience and the leadership we need at a time like this.”
Adelaide United face Perth Glory in Round 14 of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season on Saturday, 11 January at HBF Park. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACDT. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and the My Football Live App.