Izzo pleased with Reds' improved defensive structure
Paul Izzo says Adelaide United’s improved defensive structure has been one of the main positives since the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 relaunch.
Having conceded 15 goals in the four games preceding the COVID-19 enforced shutdown of the competition, the Reds have been breached just once in their previous two games.
Izzo has also been in stellar form since the restart, and recorded a further three saves in a 1-1 draw with Wellington Phoenix on Saturday, including an 87th minute penalty stop to deny Ulises Davila.
“Obviously I’m pretty pleased with how things have been going so far,” Izzo told reporters via Zoom.
“I’ve just come into this with kind of like a level head, a clear head I guess.
“Obviously it can be pretty stressful coming into this hub and things changing all the time, so I’ve just tried to more so go with the flow and not really stress about the little things.”
The 25-year-old has now notched a total of 11 saves since the resumption, which translates to $220 so far generated for the Childhood Cancer Association.
As an ambassador of the organisation, it is something Izzo is extremely proud of and was delighted to know that the Club will also match the amount raised at the end of the season.
“It’s really good, I didn’t think I was going to be this busy,” he said.
“But it’s a benefit I guess for Childhood Cancer Association, so I’m really keen and obviously the main task was to get other people involved and hope they can chip in.
“And whether that’s $5 or more, at least more and more people are chipping in and helping and raising as much money as we can.
“I know the Club itself, they’ve been so supportive over us during this difficult time in the past three or four months, and they’re willing to get behind me and match me as well so that’s a really positive from them and I’m really happy.”
Despite still being busy between the sticks, the goalkeeper admitted defensively they are a lot more organised and resolute than earlier in the campaign.
“Tactically there probably has been a massive change, obviously for the better from what we’ve seen in the past week or two,” he explained.
“I think it just comes down to defenders actually defending the goal and they’re not getting dragged out to parts of the pitch where they’re not really supposed to be.
“… Our main centre-backs are protecting the goal now more often and they’re in better positions to help me and the rest of the team out.”
Adelaide remain provisionally in the top six, one point clear of seventh-ranked Western United who have two games in hand over the Reds.
Izzo admitted the mindset has not changed and their aim is to win all three matches, starting with Perth Glory on Thursday night.
“I think the situation we kind of put ourselves in before Wellington and Brisbane was, we had to win every game anyway,” he said.
“So the goal stays the same, it doesn’t change obviously. We can’t rely on other teams and their results, if we keep winning and we leave fate in our own hands.”
Adelaide United host Perth Glory in the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season on Thursday 30 July at Bankwest Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACST. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and the MyFootball Live App.