Kurz proud of Reds’ fighting spirit

Marco Kurz says he is proud of Adelaide United’s reaction and strong finish to the game as they defeated Central Coast Mariners 2-1 at Coopers Stadium.

The Reds conceded first when Andrew Hoole struck from long range before Isaías and a last-minute header from George Blackwood secured a vital three points.

Kurz said the Mariners made it difficult for his players, especially in the first 45 as they frustrated the hosts.

He added that he was extremely delighted they were rewarded for their effort in the second stanza.

“In the end it was a very hard game, the last one after a couple of games in a row,” Kurz told reporters in the post-match press conference.

“A home game against a team that are and have been good in shape in the last few games.

“And it was the first time the team felt a bit of pressure and I think you saw that at the beginning plus they also looked tired and we made a lot of mistakes.

“But we had in the first-half three big chances and they shot one time at our goal and scored a goal.

“But in the end it was very important to jump over the hurdle and I’m very proud about the boys and their attitude.

“I think in the second-half we played with a lot of pressure and a lot of belief, not every situation we played perfect but we created chances.”

Round 16 full-time highlights: Adelaide United vs Central Coast Mariners

Kurz also praised Blackwood as the substitute scored the match-winner in the 92nd minute and highlighted his importance to the team.

“I think it’s good to know he’s taking little steps to his old performances and to his old fitness,” he said.

“And I’m happy because every goal is helpful for George but he’s an important player for us.

“He’s not one hundred per cent, but each game he gets means his fitness will improve.”

The Reds’ match against the Mariners marked their eighth in just over a month – culminating a hectic schedule.

Despite the heavy workload, United suffered just one defeat, while registering four wins and three draws.

Kurz dismissed suggestions that squad depth was an issue and stated the arduous training in pre-season was designed to prepare them for exactly these circumstances.

“I think in these games we’ve had good consistency with the results,” he continued.

“But it’s my job to prepare the team for these situations, we know it before the season and that’s why we trained hard in the pre-season and in the season.

“And we saw today I think we had more power in the end and that was a key to the win.”

Adelaide United host Brisbane Roar in Round 17 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Saturday, 2 February at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT. Gates open 6.20pm.