Jakobsen expecting Wanderers to play with freedom
Michael Jakobsen believes Adelaide United cannot afford to be complacent against an unpredictable Western Sydney Wanderers outfit.
The Reds host the Wanderers at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night, determined to collect all three points as they aim to consolidate fourth spot.
But Western Sydney found form at the weekend, dispatching Central Coast Mariners 2-0 to record just their third victory of the season.
The result also snapped a 10-game winless streak.
Jakobsen admitted the Wanderers present a difficult obstacle, despite lying 17 points behind the Reds.
Adelaide drew 2-2 against Markus Babbel’s side on Boxing Day before prevailing 2-1 in Sydney less than a month later.
“It’s a hard game because they don’t have a lot to lose,” Jakobsen told reporters at a press conference after training.
“So they can be very free when they come and play but also it’s like a wounded animal, if you score against them they can collapse a bit.
“So we need to create a lot of chances and put them under pressure.
“But it’s a quality side, they’ve some really good players when they’re all fit, so it’s going to be a tough match.
“But at home we need the three points and we need to win as many games, especially at home as possible.”
Indeed, United has recently turned around their home form, winning their previous three games at Coopers Stadium.
With just a third of the season remaining, Jakobsen insisted their approach of focusing on one match at a time will not change.
“I think it’s important that we take it one game at a time,” he said.
“We need to be focussed on every game because there are no easy games here.
“If we can win the next game we might narrow down the points to the second and third teams.
“And we still have to play them both (Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC), so I think we’re in a good spot and we’ve all the opportunities to climb even higher as long as we believe in it.
“And we perform every week, I think we’ve a chance to perform even higher.”
The Danish defender was also asked to reflect on his own performances this season as well as the team’s progress.
“It’s hard for me to comment on my own performances, but it hasn’t been top notch all the time,” he said.
“But you’ve to be stable in your level and I think I’ve been solid throughout, I think in general our defence has been solid.
“Everybody knows their roles and it’s from top to bottom, everybody has been working very hard in every game, so that looks very good.
“I’d like to score a few more goals, but we’ve had some injuries in the front line, but we’re still up high in the table.
“When everybody is gets fit and everybody is ready to play we’re very competitive.”
Adelaide United host Western Sydney Wanderers in Round 19 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Saturday, 16 February at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT. Gates open 6.20pm.