Mind over matter for Kosmina

Adelaide United Coach John Kosmina is hoping the Reds can continue to produce the consistency that has led them to the top of Group E.

One positive result away from securing a place in the AFC Champions League Round of 16, Adelaide United Coach John Kosmina is hoping the Reds can continue to produce the consistency that has led them to the top of Group E.

Three points clear following three wins from four starts, the Reds host Uzbek league champions Bunyodkor at Hindmarsh Stadium on Wednesday (2 May 2012) in the penultimate match day of the AFC Champions League Group Stage.

The Reds- only blemish to date came in a 1-0 loss to the Pohang Steelers in South Korea on April 3 but apart from that result the team from South Australia has taken all before them in what is arguably one of the toughest groups in the competition.

Having put themselves in this promising position, Kosmina says the challenge now for the Reds is not to drop off from the standard they have set when they run out against Bunyodkor.

“The team has been smooth. We had a bit of a hiccup in Pohang a couple of weeks ago but that-s behind us and I think we rectified that last week, the thing is now to maintain that consistency and take it into next Wednesday night,” Kosmina said.

In his coaching philosophies, Kosmina puts a large emphasis on players- mental resilience being just as important as their physical condition in order to achieve success.

With a fortnight between games in the AFC Champions League and the Hyundai A-League season over, staying switched on during this ‘in between time- is one of the biggest hurdles the Reds must contend with, but Kosmina knows this is where a strong mental attitude will come to the fore.

“Mental fitness is more important than physical fitness. Your head tells your legs that they-re tired, not the other way around…so from that perspective we-ve got to look at what we do to change stimulus,” Kosmina said.

“We-ve got a day off tomorrow and we go into game mode on Sunday, so that in itself is enough to motivate people, but after that you-ve got two weeks again and hopefully we can get a positive result on Wednesday and that should keep everyone fairly buoyant.”

A way Kosmina has looked to aid the Reds in this area is by implementing regular yoga sessions in the squad-s training program. The Reds coach is a strong believer in the physical, mental and spiritual discipline and can see it providing a host of benefits.

“It-s going to become an important part of the program but I think it is something that needs to be introduced slowly,” Kosmina said of the yoga sessions.

“Clubs use it around the world. I started it in Sydney four years ago and there was a little bit of resistance but now they do it two or three times a week and if you look at some of the better players around the world, (Manchester United midfielder) Ryan Giggs is the best example.

He-s been doing yoga for about six or seven years now and he-s getting better as he gets older, and he-s got no right at his age given the amount of time he-s been on the football field and injuries he-s had to still be playing where he-s at, so there-s got to be something right in it.”

“Barcelona and AC Milan use it…the best clubs in the world are right into this sort of thing, so it-s good enough for Adelaide.”

The Reds went through a solid hour long yoga session this morning after the majority of the squad played in a friendly against local club White City last night.

Running out comprehensive winners after a scoreless first half, Kosmina was satisfied with his team-s hit out, which saw midfielder Dario Vidosic and striker Sergio van Dijk, who scored a second half hat trick, stake their claims for recalls after both recovering from hamstring injuries.

The duo missed the win over Pohang but Kosmina said there was a chance of Vidosic being back in the starting eleven, while he admitted van Dijk was less likely to force his way into the line up due to the form of Bruce Djite.

“After the game last night he (Vidosic) seemed ok and he had some really good moments where he accelerated and knocked a couple of long balls in, and for me it-s not just about the running, it-s about the kicking,” Kosmina said of the Reds- number 10.

“Kicking is probably more damaging for hamstrings than the running is, so he loaded up ok and if he-s fine this morning there-s a good chance he might start on Wednesday.”

Tickets for Wednesday-s night-s encounter are available through Ticketek.