Adelaide United Youth left-back, Noah Smith, has labelled his side’s clash with Adelaide Blue Eagles as “basically a final”, knowing anything less than a win will likely see their top-six aspirations dashed.
Eighth place United trail sixth-ranked Blue Eagles by three points after the Young Reds closed the gap on the Marden-based club.
Smith stated the enormity of the match, highlighting the need to collect the victory or risk relying on other results to have any chance of reaching their finals target.
“This is basically a final for us,” Smith said.
“If we don’t win this we know we won’t be playing finals football so if we want to play it’s all up to this week.
“We really need to win both our games but this week is so important that we’ve to win if we want to play finals.”
Adelaide played themselves into good form with a solid 2-0 win over Adelaide Olympic to snap their 11-game unbeaten streak.
“It was a real good team performance,” he said.
“We scored early, took most of our chances early and got a good lead and then we defended really well, kept a clean sheet which is always positive.
“And it was good to get three points against a finals side leading up to the finals.”
Blue Eagles are winless in their preceding three matches and have tasted success just once in their previous seven outings.
Despite their form waning in the second half of the campaign, Smith expected Saturday’s opponents to provide a stern test as they seek to remain in finals contention.
“They’re a good team,” he insisted.
“We played them earlier in the year and we lost 1-0.
“But we just know that if we play our game and play to the best of our ability we can beat any team on their day as you saw a couple of weeks ago against Campbelltown.
“We just know that if we play our game and stick to our tactics that Pez (Paul Pezos) has us playing we know we’re a good chance to win.”
Adelaide United Youth face Adelaide Blue Eagles in Round 21 of the National Premier League 2019 season on Saturday, 10 August at Marden Sports Complex. Kick-off is at 3.00 PM. Reserves kick-off at 12.45pm.