Kurz thrilled with 10-man Reds' character in draw against CCM
Marco Kurz has once again lauded the determination exhibited from his Adelaide United players, this time against the Central Coast Mariners.
After trailing 2-0 and playing with 10 men for more than an hour, the Reds showcased a steely resolve to fightback and claim a 2-2 draw at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night.
Kurz praised the effort shown by the boys and believed this was one of his side’s main attributes.
“I think one of my qualities is to give the team confidence and belief in their quality to fight until the end of the game,” he in the post-match press conference.
“But the team is special, I think the team spirit and the belief in our game and the belief in the team is one of our biggest qualities.”
Andrew Hoole opened the scoring with a free-kick, before Ersan Gülüm was controversially dismissed for a foul on Trent Buhagiar in the 18th minute.
Down 1-0 at the interval and with a numerical disadvantage, Kurz revealed he told his players to maintain their high-pressing game during half-time.
“I said to the boys that we stay high and press them man against man,” he said.
“That we stay man against man in the back for example that means Taylor (Regan) against (Blake) Powell and Jordan Elsey must jump in the midfield against (Daniel) Da Silva.
“… Also I said to have the belief and have confidence and I was one hundred per cent sure we would have enough power to get a turnaround.”
However, the possibility of a comeback was made harder following an own goal from Ryan Strain.
But the Reds’ remained upbeat and replied through Jordan Elsey’s brilliant header on 61 minutes.
Kurz then handed Džengis Čavušević his debut to try and salvage the game and it paid dividends.
The Slovenian striker replaced Ryan Kitto, shifting George Blackwood to the wing – a move which brought about the equaliser from the left hand side.
Daniel Adlung’s cross found Blackwood and he emphatically smashed his effort off the crossbar and in.
“I saw Kitto a little bit tired because he worked a lot on the pitch defensively,” he said.
“And also I know that George can play as a winger, his moves inside and his timing is very good.
“In my opinion we needed another player (with great heading abilities) for corners or set-pieces, so I think it was a good decision.”
Adelaide United will face Melbourne Victory in Round 21 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Saturday, 24 February at AAMI Park. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT.