Kurz warns Wellington dangerous on the break ahead of gruelling trip
Marco Kurz admits travelling across the Tasman to face Wellington Phoenix is the most challenging trip he has ever experienced as a player or coach due to the distance.
The Reds return to action on Saturday night when they face the Phoenix at Westpac Stadium, looking to bounce back from its defeat against Perth Glory on Remembrance Day.
However, Kurz said he does not mind playing in Wellington as long as the weather is not overly inclement.
“We had the experience last season, playing twice in Wellington and I think it’s not a problem for me to play there,” Kurz told reporters at the Adelaide United Training Centre.
“It’s always good, I like to play when the temperature is not too hot and we had luck last year with the wind because it was not windy.
“But I saw their game against Western Sydney Wanderers and it was very windy but then it’s up to both teams to manage the wind and the rain.
“But it’s a good pitch and we’re looking forward to this game.”
Kurz believed the international break came at the perfect time to allow his players to recharge and freshen up.
“In this case I think yes because we had a lot of light injuries,” he said.
“And it was good that we didn’t have a game and now all players are back and we can train with a high focus for the game away in Wellington.”
The ‘Nix, coached by Mark Rudan in his first season in charge, employ a pragmatic style, and Kurz is expecting a difficult clash despite Wellington suffering consecutive losses.
“They play with a back-five line, but they can change to a back-four line as in the last game,” he explained.
“They changed after seventy minutes to a 4-2-3-1 and they’ve a lot of speed in the offensive line.
“They’ve a new goalkeeper, new players in the midfield and defence and the season is young.
“The teams in the A-League are very close together and you’ve have to perform in each game to collect points and we travel to Wellington wanting to win.”
He warned that Wellington are most dangerous on the counter-attack.
“It’s one of their strengths (the counter-attack) because the speed is very good,” he said.
“I don’t know which players will start but they’ve (Sarpreet) Singh, they’ve (Roy) Krishna, they’ve (David) Williams, they’ve (Nathan) Burns so they’ve a lot of alternatives.
“They’ve a good play maker with (Mitch) Nichols and it’s a strong team.”
Kurz also said Craig Goodwin’s availability will not change for the Wellington match regardless of how many minutes the 26-year-old gets against Lebanon on Tuesday night.
“Craig is fit enough to play two ninety-minute games in a row,” he insisted.
“And he also had a break without a game for the last eight or nine days.
“But I’m very proud that he’s a part of the Socceroos and I think it’s a good result for our group to bring a national player in the squad.”
Adelaide United face Wellington Phoenix in Round 5 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Saturday, 24 November at Westpac Stadium. Kick-off is at 5.05pm ACDT. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports and streamed on the My Football Live App.