Kosmina wants Reds to adopt warrior mentality

New Adelaide United FC Coach John Kosmina has been in the job less than 48 hours but already his presence and persona is being felt at the club.

New Adelaide United FC Coach John Kosmina has been in the job less than 48 hours but already his presence and persona is being felt at the club.

Kosmina had his first training session in charge today since he was appointed for his second term at the club, and the man who took Adelaide United to the Premiers Plate in the Hyundai A-League-s inaugural season said he was surprised by how much the memories and emotions had come flooding back.

“Just walking here from the office this morning was emotional because I haven-t been out here (on the field at Hindmarsh) for a long time, not in this capacity anyway…and it was great, it was exciting and to go back into that dressing room, it was a wonderful experience,” Kosmina said.

But while it is a sentimental return to the Reds- coaching role for Kosmina, he is aware that he has assumed control of a team that captain Jon McKain admitted had ‘hit rock bottom- after the loss to Gold Coast United and comes in at a time where the club is at one of the lowest points in its proud history.

Kosmina has been an interested onlooker as the Reds- season has rapidly nose dived. He, probably like almost everyone, would never have thought he would have ever been given the chance to do anything about it and implement his strategies and coaching style at Adelaide United again, but when the stars aligned and the Club Board came calling, it was a challenge too good to refuse.

When asked about his initial assessment on the vibe amongst the squad and what needed to be done in order to revive the Reds- season, Kosmina did not shy away from his intentions to bring a change of mindset and put the onus on the playing group.

“I see a room full of players but I don-t see a team in there at the moment,” Kosmina stated.

“I hope to turn it around, I think I can and I-ll back myself in at it, but like I said it comes back to the players. If they want to turn it around we-ll turn it around, but they have to buy into it.”

“I want to turn it around, I want to make them warriors. I know Graham Arnold used it at the Central Coast in about Round 3 because they were struggling, they (the Reds- squad) need to adopt that warrior mentality and we-ve got to go with that, but if they don-t buy into that it-s not going to work.”

Kosmina has only two more full days to prepare the Reds before they face Sydney FC, a club Kosmina also coached previously, at the Sydney Football Stadium on Thursday night.

While the Reds could dearly do with a much needed win, Kosmina says the primary focus will be on the players to restore some pride and hope, not only for themselves, but as much, or even more so, for the supporters.

“I can expect a big effort but the message I want the players to understand is that it doesn-t matter what I do or the other coaches or the board say, if they-re not prepared to have a go themselves then we-re just wasting our time and that-s what it comes down to, players have to be intrinsically motivated, they have to be,” Kosmina said.

“Sometimes you-ve really got to look what-s inside yourself and I think that-s where these guys are at the moment because the thing that really came out of what-s happened over this weekend was the reaction of the crowd on Friday night (after the loss to Gold Coast).”

Despite two consecutive home defeats, just one goal in the past four games and sitting ninth on the table, Kosmina saw enough at training this morning to believe the players have what it takes to dig themselves out of the hole.

“Everyone hurts in their own little way, it-s how they (the players) react to that hurt that-s probably more important,” Kosmina said.

“If you look at that session today I was happy how it finished up. I thought it was a bit slow at the start but standing off having a look there are a few things I think I picked up on that can maybe make them (the players) feel better about themselves.”

“Maybe they-ve got to learn how to hurt as well because they-ve never really felt any pain.”

One of the first priorities Kosmina has identified is to sure up the Reds defensively, United currently with the worst ‘goals against- record in the league. However, while this is an area that is certain to take precedence, he said it was just as important that the Reds started finding the back of the net themselves.

“I think we-re probably at the stage where that (defence) needs to be part of the consideration, but the other side of that is you can be too focused on not going to concede goals and then you don-t score any either, so you-ve got to find the balance,” Kosmina said.

“Maybe we-ll give the payers some different roles, maybe a different way of understanding what their roles are and we-ll see how it goes from there.”

“But we-ve got to score goals as well and being an ex-striker, I-m from that school of thought that you get on the front foot, you get the retaliation in first.”

Strike pair Bruce Djite and Sergio van Dijk both did not train with the main group this morning due to soreness from last Friday night-s game, but Kosmina is optimistic they will be available for the trip to Sydney.