Marco Kurz says he was proud of the way his inexperienced Adelaide United side secured a resolute 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.
Having been beaten by Melbourne City last weekend, Marco Kurz was after a reaction and his team duly responded at Westpac Stadium.
George Blackwood dribbled 30-yards to score the only goal of the game after a quick interchange of one-touch passes involving himself, Jordan O’Doherty and Ryan Kitto.
The striker collected the ball just beyond the half-way line before finishing his effort fortuitously through the legs of gloveman Lewis Italiano on 32 minutes.
Kurz praised the Reds’ disciplined and committed performance, whilst acknowledging his side have played better matches this season.
United’s starting XI only had two players over the age of 25 in Daniel Adlung (30) and Ersan Gülüm (30).
“I think it was a very important game for both teams,” Kurz said in the post-match press conference.
“We didn’t start very well, not the confidence I like to see from the boys but that’s normal because today we only had two experienced players in the line-up.
“And the rest are young boys with not so much A-League experience but the longer the game ran the better we played.
“We played very organised, very disciplined and compact and we had space for a counter-attack and in the right moment we scored the goal from George (Blackwood).
“Maybe it’s not our best game but a big fight from the boys and a very important win for us.”
The victory enabled Adelaide to snap a three-match winless streak as well as extend the Reds’ unbeaten run over the Phoenix to seven games.
With several senior players missing through injury, Kurz revealed he told the youngsters to play without fear.
“The players are not available and I know they need experience,” he said.
“But I said to the boys feel confident and believe and enjoy.
“Make mistakes but always look forward.
“It’s correct that we missed a lot of experienced players, but I think a big congratulations for the young boys.
“They fight very hard and strong and it’s a big win.”
The Reds are now one point behind the fourth-placed Melbourne Victory on the league table.
Adelaide United host Perth Glory in Round 19 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Saturday, 3 February at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT.