Marco Kurz says he saw promising signs from his Adelaide United players against Wellington Phoenix, but regretted the significant injury blow to defender Taylor Regan.
The German’s first Hyundai A-League match in charge of the Club ended in a 1-1 stalemate with the Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.
A fast start to the match saw Danish winger Johan Absalonsen cancel out Dario Vidošić’s opener inside the opening 10 minutes.
However, the injury to Regan somewhat marred the encouraging display, who has been ruled out of action for 10 to 12 after he was substituted in the 60th minute against the Phoenix.
The Club earlier announced in a statement the 28-year-old had sustained a syndesmosis injury in his left ankle, after an MRI scan and additional tests revealed the full extent of the setback.
Kurz lamented the loss of Regan, but was adamant the centre-back will “come back stronger”.
“It’s not a good moment for Taylor (Regan) and for our team,” he said.
“That’s not good, that’s bad news and he was an important player for us, but I’m one hundred per cent sure that he’ll come back stronger than before.
“That’s our job, injuries are a part of it and now we’ll make sure when Taylor comes back we’ll stay in a good position.”
Kurz suggested Jordan Elsey will more than likely be Regan’s replacement over the next few months and was confident he can fill the void.
“Our squad is good, (Jordan) Elsey for example played well in the cup,” he said.
“But every player that’s injured is not good for our team, but we look forward.
“I think at the moment he had a good pre-season and I think for the start in Wellington it’s a hard decision.
“All three centre-backs played well, Ersan (Gülüm), Elsey and Taylor and it was a hard decision to leave Elsey out of the starting team.
“He’s fit and he played well in the cup games and I’m one hundred per cent sure he’ll do a great job.”
On the match itself, Kurz gave his assessment on the team’s performance against and was relatively pleased with what he saw.
“We know it’s a tough start to the season with the two games away but that’s what it is for us,” he insisted.
“It’s not a problem, it’s not the theme to discuss… I felt good after the game, I think it wasn’t our best game.
“But we came back after an early goal from Wellington and we had the chance to win in the last 20 minutes.
“For me it’s okay that we can play a game on Friday in Brisbane, I’m happy about it because for me it’s better to play than train.”
But one area he would like to see more improvement is the ability to be more clinical in front of goal.
“I think we had a lot of good plays but the last step (putting the ball in the net) we missed in this game,” he explained.
“But for me I’m not disappointed, I’m positive – the team looks good, the energy in the team looks good and the communication is good.
“I heard that it’s not so easy to start in Wellington and get points in Wellington.
“Now we have one point and we’ll do some things better in Brisbane for a chance to get a win.”
The German believes fatigue will not be a factor come Friday night despite returning from New Zealand on Monday and then flying to Brisbane.
“Wednesday they (the players) looked fresh on Tuesday they looked a little bit tired,” he said.
“But we had a lighter session for the players with a lot of fun and ball work.
“We started the recovery in Wellington with good food and massages and I think we’ll be fresh for Friday.”
Kurz is expecting a difficult encounter with the Roar and identified some of their strengths his side will need to be wary of.
“I think it’s a good team, I think they have good possession game and a lot of good players in their team,” he said.
“I think they’ve high individual quality in the offence and they’ve a lot of rotation in their game.
“I think it’s not simple to press the team or defend the team, they play disciplined.”
Adelaide United will face Brisbane Roar in Round 2 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Friday, 13 October at Suncorp Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT.