Dylan McGowan says he and his teammates remain optimistic after Adelaide United’s 0-0 draw with Melbourne Victory, but has said the Reds must improve both defensively and offensively.
In what was a scrappy affair United were unable to overcome the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions, despite Victory being reduced to ten-men with twenty minutes remaining in the match.
McGowan, however, said the fact the Reds were able to secure a point against such strong opposition could be of major benefit providing Adelaide are able get the three points against Western Sydney Wanderers in Round 2 at Coopers Stadium.
“Both teams had a lot of chances and it’s always difficult against Victory,” he explained.
“If we go and win next week (against the Wanderers) it’ll be a good draw, but if we go and lose then it’s a difficult start to the season.
“If we get four points against two very good sides, it’s a great start (to the season). But if we don’t then we’ll be putting a bit of extra pressure on ourselves heading over to Perth (in Round 3).
“We still have a lot to play for and so we will be looking to do everything we can to get the win next Friday night.
“It was a little disappointing (that we didn’t take advantage of Victory being down to ten-men), but the main thing is that we kept trying to play and we’ll be better for that as the season goes on.”
A clear positive from the match, though, was the performance of John Hall who made his first competitive start for the club due to the absence of Eugene Galekovic who was on international duty with the Socceroos in Jordan along with star defender, Tarek Elrich.
Hall was required to make a few difficult saves, but at the end of the match secured a maiden clean sheet on his starting debut, something McGowan praised him for. But he urged the squad to tighten up at the back and remain more resolute defensively, as well as expand creatively going forward, echoed by Head Coach, Guillermo Amor.
“I said straight after the game that John was brilliant, which bodes well for us having two great ‘keepers,” McGowan stated.
“It was good to keep a clean sheet too. We were missing two key defensive players in Eugene and Tarek, so to get away with a clean sheet against a top team is a very good result for us.
“We can still improve a lot of things (for next week) though. Defensively we got caught out a couple of times and that’s something we must work on.
“Going forward I feel like we were a little bit lacklustre in the final third, but that will improve as the boys play more games and as the season goes on.
“After the game, Guillermo said he was happy with our efforts, but he’s urging us to be more creative going forward and he will be looking to implement that this week (in training).
“I think everyone knows we’re quite a good attacking team and we’ve shown that in the last few seasons. Now it’s more of a case for the boys to get properly match fit and used to the tempo the A-League is played at and once that happens we’ll (flourish).”
Adelaide United will face Western Sydney Wanderers in Round 2 of the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season at Coopers Stadium on Friday, 16 October 2015. Kick-off is at 7.10 pm. To buy tickets, click here.