Ryan Kitto says he was delighted to score the match-winning goal and contribute in an overall positive as Adelaide United prevailed 3-2 over the Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday.
Kitto finished off an incisive counter-attacking move involving Nathan Konstandopoulos and Nikola Mileusnic in the 80th minute to seal all three points in the final round of the regular season.
Baba Diawara and Daniel Adlung has earlier netted for the visitors in sublime fashion during the first-half at ANZ Stadium.
Kitto, who came on as a second-half substitute, admitted he was pleased to influence the game but reserved praise for his teammates that orchestrated the goal.
“It was nice to come on and have an impact,” Kitto said.
“But I think a lot of the hard work was done in the build-up with Nathan Konstandopoulos slipping Nikola (Mileusnic) and Nikola putting in a perfect cross.
“I had the easy job of putting the ball into the back of the net and it was good to contribute.”
The winger has now scored a team-high seven league goals, something Kitto hopes to build on.
“It’s nice to score for my Club and I’m happy to contribute,” he said.
“And now we’ve got an important game this Sunday and hopefully I can maybe get on the scoresheet again and we can win the game.”
The 23-year-old attributed this season’s impressive form down to a strong work ethic and the help from his teammates and boss, Marco Kurz.
“I think it comes down work-rate and belief,” he revealed.
“It’s my job to score goals and last year wasn’t good enough.
“So to be able to contribute this year is I think reward for my hard work and all the belief that boys and the coach have instilled in me.”
The victory guaranteed a fifth-place spot consequently setting up an intriguing Original Rivalry Elimination Final clash with nemesis Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park this Sunday night.
“It’s exciting, obviously it’s a derby but it’s also a finals game,” he said.
“So there’s absolutely everything to play for so we’ll prepare as best as we can this week and we’ll have a full squad to pick from.
“So it’s exciting times and hopefully we can win this game and go one better.”
Kitto went on to add following their Westfield FFA Cup Final appearance in November, the Reds are well-equipped to cope with the pressure associated with knockout football.
He said Adelaide can win the Grand Final, something which has never been achieved from outside the top two, if they take it one match at a time.
“I think we’ve had a good record with this team in the FFA Cup and that’s knockout (football) and we got all the way to the final there and matched Sydney up until the 115th minute,” he continued.
“So in one-off games we believe in ourselves and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Adelaide United face Melbourne Victory in the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Elimination Final on Sunday, 22 April at AAMI Park. Kick-off is at 5.30pm ACST.