Kurz seeing progress after latest friendly victory

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Marco Kurz says he saw signs of progress in Adelaide United’s 2-0 friendly win over Adelaide Olympic at Marden Sports Complex on Wednesday night.

The Reds kept its pre-season winning streak intact ahead of next week’s crucial FFA Cup Round of 32 meeting against Central Coast Mariners.

Second-half goals from Apostolos Stamatelopoulos and Carlo Armiento decided the outcome with Kurz relatively pleased with the team’s display.

“I think it was our third friendly game in pre-season against an NPL team and all of the NPL teams were good in shape,” Kurz said upon reflection.

“They’re in their season and they’re very fit and yesterday Olympic proved to be a strong opponent again.

“I think we created a couple of good opportunities in the last third, the build-up was good and also the possession game was good.”

However, the German added his side must improve in their attacking sequences.

“But during the last third we’ve to play better than yesterday,” he said.

“Sometimes the last pass was not firm enough, maybe the crossing was not good enough or the cross was good enough but the position in the box was not good enough.

“I think generally speaking we’re on the right track but we still have enough work to do to perform better for the FFA Cup.”

Despite the Reds still lacking that ruthlessness up front, Kurz insisted that his team have made strides forward in each of their three pre-season matches.

“I think it’s normal in the pre-season that you’re not in your best shape now,” he said.

“But I think it’s important to see the team improve and that’s what we did in the game against (West Torrens) Birkalla and now yesterday it was better.

“But we still have enough work to do and tomorrow we’ve a day off and then we’ve three or four days in a row to prepare the team the best we can do to have a successful game in the cup.”

New signing Mirko Boland was also handed his Reds debut, and in his first outing the 31-year-old already showed glimpses of his quality.

The German expertly retained possession of the ball and forged a strong partnership on the left side of holding midfielder Isaías.

“It was very difficult for Mirko (Boland) because I think he trained two or three times with team,” he continued.

“But his fitness is very good at the moment but I expect this from a German player that he comes to Australia to be fit.

“You saw the different system that he knows from his old club is different.

“For Mirko we need time but it was very important for me to see that he asked for the ball and that he’s quick.

“He looks good in the team but we’ve to give him time to improve and settle down and also in our team.

“It’s completely new to settle down in Australia for a German guy but he’ll be a good player for the whole season for sure.”

Adelaide United host Central Coast Mariners in the Round of 32 of the FFA Cup 2018 on Wednesday, 1 August at Marden Sports Complex. Kick-off is at 7.00 PM ACST.

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