Adelaide United captain, Eugene Galekovic, has said all focus is on the Reds’ Round 7 fixture with Central Coast Mariners, but he and his teammates aren’t expecting too many surprises when the two sides meet on Sunday afternoon, having met recently in the FFA Cup semi-finals.
Neither side will be without confidence going into the match and Galekovic is wary of the threat the one-time Hyundai A-League champions could pose, especially after a good result last round against Melbourne City.
“They’ll probably have a bit more confidence playing at their home and also coming off their result against Melbourne City,” Galekovic said.
“I think it’ll be similar (to our Westfield FFA Cup game), but we’re going there to win and we’ll prepare now and in our last few sessions this week for them.
“They might change a few things around, but all-in-all I think they’ll play similar to how they have recently.
Galekovic continued to say that although the score line from the two sides’ Westfield FFA Cup meeting may have suggested a tight affair, he believes it was a comfortable win for the Reds – one where his side was always in control of the game.
Nevertheless, United will go into the match cautious, as a win – and depending on other results this weekend – could see them top the Hyundai A-League standings. Yet Galekovic believes individual results are far more important this early on in comparison to the overall table.
“The top-four are close. If you win a few games, you go top, but if you lose a few then you could fall down to fourth, fifth, or even sixth,” Galekovic explained.
“It’s still early stages, so we’re not really looking at the ladder. What’s more important for us are the results in-between.”
When asked about a potential ‘secret’ to United’s good-form this season and the team’s ability to come from behind in matches and get a result, the 33-year-old attributed the strong belief within the squad as one of the most defining factors.
“I think it’s the belief and confidence from playing at home, especially to win each game (at Coopers Stadium)," said Galekovic.
“This year we’ve probably faced every (in-match) scenario – coming from behind, leading and holding-onto games, fighting for victories – which shows our belief and, if we can keep it, who knows what will happen at the end of the season.
“We’re not thinking about anything other than (to keep winning). It’s about keeping the momentum going, continuing to (earn) results and trying to get that gap (between us and) the teams towards the lower end of the ladder.”
This momentum is paramount for United, as they face another tough run of fixtures in the coming weeks. The Reds will play away to Central Coast Mariners (this week) then Melbourne Victory in Round 8, before home clashes against Western Sydney Wanderers and Brisbane Roar in rounds nine and 10 respectively – all before the Westfield FFA Cup final on Tuesday, 16 December.
“So far we’ve been doing (well), but the next few weeks will be a test for us (both home and away).
“The game on the weekend (against Wellington Phoenix) shows that (in an instant, you go from) one point to three points. We got those extra two points in close to the last kick of the game and those two points can be the difference between first and third. It doesn’t matter how you get them in the end, as long as you keep building them up.
“Every time we get a result, our belief grows a little bit more, so the more we keep getting these good results, the more I think our momentum will keep rolling.”
Adelaide United face Central Coast Mariners at Central Coast Stadium in Round 7 of the Hyundai A-League on Sunday 23 November. Kick off is at 4.30pm ACDT.