Adelaide United Youth Reserves boss, Adrian Stenta, is adamant his side can end their recent slump in form, but warns a big test awaits them against Para Hills Knights Reserves on Saturday.
The Young Reds have suffered back-to-back defeats in the league which has seen them drop from the top of the table, albeit to equal second and one point adrift of leaders West Adelaide.
Stenta was more than optimistic his side would bounce back, though attributed errors and profligacy in front of goal as the main reasons behind the dip in form.
“Firstly, we’re very confident we can get out of this little skid as you say, but it just highlights probably just how inconsistent our play has been over the last couple of weeks,” he insisted.
“We’ve managed to put together some good patches of play and looked quite good on one hand but within the same game, some mistakes and turnovers have cost us dearly.
“And we haven’t been able to capitalise as clinically on the chances we’ve created as we perhaps did earlier in the season.
“So all that together has meant that we’ve just struggled for some consistent form.”
Stenta added that not being able to field a consistent starting line-up in recent weeks has also perhaps impacted the stability within the side – more so than just missing key players Jai King and Taras Gomulka who have been playing with United Youth.
“It’s more the disruption that causes from a playing together point of view,” he explained.
“So my squad is one that always chops and changes from one week to the next and that’s probably had a bigger impact rather than the individuals.
“Even though those players you mentioned before (King and Gomulka) are really high-quality players, we’ve got good players that have replaced them in the team.
“But it’s just trying to get that consistent eleven out on the park week in week out which has probably hurt us more than anything else.”
Stenta said he is predicting another difficult encounter with Para Hills, who consigned Adelaide Blue Eagles to a 4-2 defeat last week.
Five points separates first and seventh in the league standings – highlighting just how competitive the season has been.
“It was a really tough game last time we played them and they were difficult opposition,” he recalled after his team suffered a 2-1 loss at the Paddocks in the corresponding fixture earlier this year.
“They’re only three or four points behind us I think, the league has really tightened up in that top half so we’re expecting a challenge from them.
“And we’re really looking forward to being able to reverse the result from the fixture last time we played them.”
Adelaide United Youth host Para Hills Knights in Round 16 of the National Premier League 2019 season on Saturday, 6 July at VALO Football Centre – The Parks. Kick-off is at 3.00pm. Reserves kick-off at 12.45pm.