Kurz hails Reds’ desire in narrow win over Mariners

Marco Kurz praised his side’s overall solid performance as Adelaide United defeated the Central Coast Mariners 1-0 at Coopers Stadium on Boxing Day.

The Reds recorded their fifth win of the season to climb into fourth place in the league standings.

Ryan Kitto’s 14th minute finish ultimately was enough to give the hosts all three points and hand the majority of the 10,313 fans a belated Christmas present.

“I think the first-half from our side was the better one,” he said upon reflection in the post-match press conference.

“We had a couple of chances and I think we had the chance to score two goals but also Central Coast had two, three chances to score goals.

“I think it was a good game from both teams, a very offensive game and very offensive line-ups from both teams.”

However, in the second stanza, while Adelaide failed to muster as many chances they remained resolute defensively with the Mariners rarely troubling gloveman Paul Izzo.

“And in the second-half it was more hard work, more fight and good work in the defensive shape, but we didn’t have the power to create more chances,” he said.

“But we are very happy with the result, I think it’s good to know that we can fight for the win and (keep a clean sheet).”

Kurz admitted his team will need to improve in the final third – such as the timing of runs into specific areas – if they are to convert more of their opportunities.

Adelaide has not scored more than two goals in the Hyundai A-League this campaign, but Kurz could not fault his players’ attitude.

“We must for example, when we cross the ball, we must stay on the first and second post and on two situations we are not in the positions,” he said.

“Maybe when we make the right runs we can score more goals.

“But it was also not easy today, Taylor (Regan) was back after a long injury, Vince Lia’s second game (back from injury).

“The boys every week do a great job and I was really proud.”

A number of young South Australian locals have impressed for United this season under the tutelage of Kurz.

Kurz admitted age is irrelevant when he is assessing whether a player is ready to compete at a professional level.

“Every game for a young player is important,” he explained

“For me it’s not the age that’s important, it’s the quality that’s important.

“If I have the feeling the boy is ready to start then he plays.

“That’s the reason, you see for example Ryan Kitto, he feels so confident and believes in his quality.

“And now he plays every game a step better and I’m very happy with the way he goes about it.”

Adelaide United host Brisbane Roar in Round 13 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Saturday, 30 December at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 5.05pm ACDT.