Marco Kurz believes complacency will not be an issue for his Adelaide United players when they face Queensland outfit Lions FC in the FFA Cup 2018 Round of 16 on Wednesday night.
The Reds return to competitive football for the first time since beating Central Coast Mariners in the last 32 at the beginning of the month.
In such a long pre-season, Kurz said the entire squad is pulling in the same direction, knowing that playing as many official games as possible will only help build momentum ahead of the Hyundai A-League campaign.
The German added that friendly matches do not provide the same intensity than a meaningful FFA Cup game.
“Firstly, we said to the boys at the start that our pre-season starts with our first official game in the cup,” Kurz told reporters on Monday.
“Our pre-season is the cup season and if we play the tournament we’ll reach the finals and then you’ve high focus for each game.
“And everybody knows to reach the next round means that we have another official game in the pre-season and that’s very good.
“We had the experience last year how helpful it was to play against good opponents and to play official games.
“It’s completely different to friendly games, last week we played against Melbourne City – an A-League team – but it was a friendly game.
“And for me it’s better to have knockout games to play for the next round than just friendly games.”
After seeing Melbourne Victory eliminated from the tournament last week at the hands of National Premier League (NPL) opposition, Kurz said it provided a timely reminder of what can happen if you are not fully focused.
Kurz said the fact they are playing an NPL team has not altered their preparation in any way.
“For us it was the same procedure as for an A-League game,” he said.
“We watched a couple of games from them and we know the team, we know the play style, it’s a very strong team.
“They’re the best team in the NPL in Queensland, they’ve scored a lot of goals and also they have two or three experienced players that played in the A-League.
“And last week we had a good warning, (Melbourne) Victory is out of the cup and I think it’s good to know if you don’t play the best you can maybe than maybe you can be eliminated.”
But Kurz was confident his players would not suffer a similar fate and revealed they have been thorough in their preparation for the match.
The former Schalke defender was solely determined of progressing to the quarter finals.
“We prepared our team very seriously like against an A-League team,” he said.
“And that’s the same preparation, the same training, the same focus, the same team meeting and we showed the players also pictures from the Lions.
“My aim, my goal is to reach the next round and they’ve a lot of good players in their squad and we need to be careful and have to play at our best level to have a chance to reach the next round."
Adelaide United face Lions FC in the Round of 16 of the FFA Cup 2018 on Wednesday, 29 August at Perry Park. Kick-off is at 7.00 PM ACST.