Michael Marrone says there were encouraging signs in Adelaide United’s 1-0 win over Newcastle Jets in the Round of 32 of the Westfield 2017 FFA Cup at Marden Sports Complex on Wednesday night.
The defender scored a second-half emphatic header to break the deadlock, sealing Adelaide’s progression to the last 16 of the knock-out competition and a meeting with fierce rivals Melbourne Victory.
An in-swinging corner from new singing Johan Absalonsen enabled the 30-year-old to head home the delivery past a helpless Jack Duncan in Head Coach, Marco Kurz’s, first official match in charge.
It was just Marrone’s second goal for the Club and the full-back is hoping he can continue to have a license to go forward on set pieces in the future.
“It was a brilliant ball from Johan (Absalonsen) and I didn’t have to do much to be fair,” he said. “He just put it on a platter and I was just in the right position at the right time.
“Hopefully the goal keeps me on attacking duties and get to go up a little bit more and it would be good if we got a few more goals this season from set pieces.”
Marrone said he was pleased with the performance, stating the team will only be further bolstered by players returning from injury and potential new signings.
“We’re very happy to get through to the next round and I guess we have a big test against Melbourne Victory coming up now,” he said.
“It was a tough game (against Newcastle), they had their chances, we had our chances.
“It was a bit scrappy as you can expect from the first game, but I think we set up pretty well tactically.
“I think we defended well as a unit and that was probably key to getting a win and keeping a clean sheet.
“And once we get a few more additions and boys back in training like Ersan (Gülüm), Baba (Diawara), and others I think we’ll be very strong.”
Despite the win, the consistent defender stressed his side have plenty of room for improvement and have been focusing on tactics and playing style in training.
“I guess we’re slowly working on the way we’re setting up defensively, which has been a big point in pre-season,” he said.
“From there we have been starting to work on the way we want to attack, but to be fair we have only really touched on that.
“So there’s still plenty of work to do in going forward and the way we want to set up.
“Whether that’s high up the pitch pressing or whether we’re dropping back, I think he (Head Coach, Marco Kurz) wants us to be flexible in that regard.”
Marrone also talked about the highly anticipated home encounter with Melbourne Victory in a couple of weeks’ time.
“(Melbourne) Victory is going to be very tough, as they always are,” Marrone continued.
“They’ve made some handy additions and having a home game I think will help us and we’ll get a few more players back (from injury), so we’ll be strong and ready.”