Jakobsen: Morale still strong, wary of Perth’s blistering form
Michael Jakobsen revealed morale within the squad was still strong despite a stretch that has seen Adelaide United collect one win from its previous five games.
The Reds suffered a third straight defeat at the hands of ladder leaders, Sydney FC, on Saturday night after falling 2-1.
However, irrespective of the loss, Jakobsen insisted they still maintain belief and was confident of turning their slump around.
“It’s good, we’ve a strong belief in what we do and everybody seems to be on the right way,” Jakobsen told AUFC Media after training.
“I can’t fault their effort they’ve put into it and the morale is good. I think everybody works hard every day at training so it’s going in the right direction.”
Riley McGree scored in his first game back from injury against the Sky Blues and Kristian Opseth returned via the bench.
Meanwhile, German midfielder, Mirko Boland is back in full training following knee surgery.
Jakobsen said having the trio on the park only serves as a benefit to the team.
“I think they’re going on the right way,” the Reds Captain stated.
“So Riley (McGree) getting minutes and Kristian (Opseth) getting minutes.
“(Mirko) Boland is back out training so we’re getting stronger the more people that come back into the squad and that’s a positive. It makes more competition and that forces people to step up.”
Adelaide face Perth Glory on Saturday night, a team that has returned to the blistering form that was synonymous with them last season after winning four matches on the bounce.
Jakobsen was expecting a very difficult test against last year’s minor premiers.
“I think they had a slow start to the season and now they’re showing what they did last year, the abilities they have,” he said.
“It’s going to be a very tough match as well, it’s a long travel so we need to prepare well and do everything we can this week on the training pitch to set up and be aware of what they do.
“They’re one of the strongest sides as well in this league, so it’s going to be a very good test for us to see where we are.”
The Glory have also notched 14 goals during their current streak and according to the Danish centre-back they must be aware of Perth’s attacking threats.
United have recorded just the solitary clean sheet this campaign, something the 34-year-old wants to see improve, but equally felt Adelaide’s pace up front can cause Tony Popovic’s outfit problems.
“As a defender that’s what you want every game,” he continued.
“You want to win games and it’s easier when you’ve a clean sheet.
“It’s going to be tough against Perth because they’re going to create chances because they’re a quality team especially offensively.
“That’s where they’ve the biggest threats, but defensively they will have issues with our quick front runners.
“I think we can make it very difficult for them but we need to be very tight at the back and don’t give away too many chances.”
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.