Stefan Mauk has declared Adelaide United willing to do “whatever it takes” to advance from Friday’s Semi-Final at Coopers Stadium, even putting his hand up to take a spot-kick if the match was to go into a shootout.
The Hyundai A-League’s remarkable 2015/16 season will reach new levels of excitement on Friday night, as current Premiers, Adelaide United, host the competition’s most clinical attacking side, Melbourne City, in front of a sold out Coopers Stadium crowd.
United will return to competitive football against City after a weekend off as a result of winning the Premiership in the last round of the regular season.
And ahead of the massive match, Reds’ attacking midfielder, Stefan Mauk, has claimed his side are prepared to go the distance to ensure their place in the Grand Final is secured – even if the game was pushed into extra time and penalties.
“We’ve had the week off and so we’re a bit more refreshed,” Mauk said. “Now that we’re at the end of the season, everyone else could be a bit tired.
“But we’ve been fortunate enough to get the week off and if it goes into extra time, I think we’d all be ready for it.
“We’re all quite fit and ready to fight and do whatever it takes to win.
“If it comes to (penalties) I’d be more than happy to take one, but Guillermo (Amor) would be the one to make the decision.
“We’ve got a lot of confident players in our team and I’d be happy to step up.”
In the last fixture between Adelaide and City, it was Amor’s men who prevailed 2-0 at AAMI Park in Round 27. The result proved crucial for the Reds’ Premiership aspirations and eventually clinched the title for the Club, whilst assisting in Melbourne’s fall to fourth on the ladder.
Tempers flared throughout the last encounter, however Mauk’s bracing himself for an even fiery game considering what’s at stake this time around, whilst saying United’s football wont be altered from what has brought the Club silverware once already this season.
“You could see how much it meant to the players in Round 27 when it was the Premiership on the line.
“This is an even bigger game and I think there’s bound to be a few fights and stuff like that on the field.
“There’s not too much pressure on (City). They can come here and play freely because they’re playing away from home and we’re the Premiers – the ones that have to bring the game to them a little bit more.
“We’ll worry about playing our style of football – defensively being very strong and then on the ball we’re going to show all of our flair and talent.
“I don’t think we need to change anything from what we’ve been doing in the last 15, 16 games since I’ve been here anyway.
“We’re deservedly in this position as the Premiers and now we have a massive game on Friday.
“I’m going to go out there and try and play my game and worry about myself and do the team things.”
Adelaide United will face Melbourne City in Hyundai A-League Semi Final 1 on Friday, 22 April at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.15pm ACST.