The Reds are flying in the AFC Champions League but Coach John Kosmina has not hidden his disappointment at United's unsuccessful Hyundai A-League campaign.
The Reds are flying in the AFC Champions League but on the domestic front, Coach John Kosmina has not hidden his disappointment at United's unsuccessful Hyundai A-League campaign.
Anyone who knows United Coach John Kosmina knows he is the type of person who will call a spade a spade, and in his assessment of the Reds- Hyundai A-League season, he certainly did not try and sugar coat a campaign that failed to reach any great heights.
Kosmina entered the fray in Week 12 after the Reds quite literally hit rock bottom as they found themselves holding up the Hyundai A-League table following a disastrous 3-0 home loss to Gold Coast United.
It was always going to be a long way back and despite Kosmina instilling a new sense of belief and resilience in the playing group and going unbeaten in his first five games in charge, the Reds could not manage to mend the wreckage and find a way into the top six.
A ninth place finish ensued, and while only one win in the final 13 games does not make for good reading, the Reds genuinely did enough in a number of those games to get a result. But it was not to be, the inability to keep a clean sheet writing on the wall of a season that derailed early on.
“I think we were a better team than the table belies but the fact is we didn-t win enough games, games that we could have won that we had opportunities to win, and we let teams back in, either through silly mistakes or maybe a lack of focus at times,” Kosmina said.
“So consequently where we are is where we are and we have to deal with that and now the focus is the Asian Champions League.”
After the Reds- final game of the season last Friday night, any thought for Kosmina that it brought a sense of relief that it was finally over was outweighed by the reality that United would not be featuring in the finals.
“You never not want to make the finals, so as much as the full focus is now on Asia, it still rankles that we haven-t got a game next weekend,” Kosmina said in his post match interview.
The wash up of a season also brings attention to the squad and any possibility of player movements ahead of next season. The majority of the current Reds playing list is contracted for next season, but that has not stopped the rumour mill. In this regard, Kosmina did shy away from speaking about any speculation that there are contracted players that would be leaving the club.
“They-re all under contract so at the moment they-re not going anywhere,” Kosmina stated.
“I they want to leave they can come and ask, but whether they can go or not is another story altogether because they-re under contract.”
“Contracts work both ways. You sign a contract and want your money, you sign a contract and you have to stay sometimes as well.”
“We haven-t sat down with them (the players) yet so when we speak to the horse-s mouth we might have a better indication of where people really want to be…it-s probably more speculation for the sake of a headline than it is for the sake of reality.”
In terms of looking ahead to where the club believes it needs to strengthen its squad for next season, Kosmina says the club will asses their options but would not be rushing into any impulsive decisions on new signings. The Reds have already added versatile Gold Coast United youngster Daniel Bowles, while experienced defender Iain Fyfe is also at the club for next season.
“We-ve got four or five places available but we have to be careful who we recruit, and you have to look at players that are out of contract for next season and whether they stay under contract for next season,” Kosmina said.
“We don-t have a lot of room to move so you assume that you stat with that and then look to where you can balance the squad that is here now.”
Before thinking too much about 2012/13, Kosmina and the Reds have more immediate priorities to deal with.
“For the short term the focus has got to be on Pohang (Steelers) next Tuesday and then again at home on the 8th (of April), and then we-ll start looking at what needs to be done in terms of next season.”
Kosmina will not make the trip to South Korea as he instead heads to Canberra on Sunday to start his Coaching ‘A- Licence.