No FFA Cup hangover for Kurz’s Reds

Marco Kurz has waved away suggestions his side’s concentration has lapsed following the Reds’ FFA Cup Final triumph on Tuesday night. 

With Adelaide United preparing for their third game in ten days after last Friday’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle Jets followed by their FFA Cup Final win on Tuesday evening, Kurz praised his side’s quality and determination ahead of a difficult clash with Mike Mulvey’s Central Coast Mariners in Gosford. 

“We have to start now to bring the focus back to the league games, which is very hard after such a good night,” Kurz explained. “But today the boys looked very hungry and now we have reached our first aim (winning the FFA Cup Final)

“Now we must find new goals for our season and next we must reach the (Hyundai A-League) finals and we need every point available from now on. 

“The boys know this and they feel hungry.” 

United will face a more cohesive Mariners outfit on Sunday afternoon, one that is a much more prepared for competitive fixtures in comparison to when the two sides met at Marden Sports Complex in the FFA Cup Round of 32 in August. 

Like the Reds, Central Coast have collect two points from the opening two rounds of the domestic competition, registering draws against Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City FC. 

And with the likes of Ross McCormack, Matt Simon, and Tommy Oar leading the lines for the Mulvey, Kurz is weary of the challenge posed to his team. 

“It’s a completely different team with a different quality to last season and different line-up,” Kurz said. “They signed very good players offensively in Simon and McCormack and in their winger positions. 

“They’ve also brought in a very experienced centre back (Kalifa Cissé) and it’s a strong team, which they’ve shown in the last two games. 

“I expect a very strong team and a very good team, but we are ready for this.”
 
Welcomed inclusions to Kurz’s squad in contrast to his Round 2 fixture with the Jets are Apostolos Stamatelopoulos, Nikola Mileusnic, and Ryan Kitto. 

Stamatelopoulos recently returned to Club football after completing international duty with the Young Socceroos. Meanwhile, Mileusnic and Kitto have both overcome troublesome injuries that have stalled their 2018/19 pre-seasons, Mileusnic with a foot problem and Kitto with an adductor issue. 

Nevertheless, Kurz is keeping his cards close to his chest, refusing to give away any firm hints regarding his starting eleven for the weekend. 

“I’m happy Nikola is back, but his injury was from the last season, which means he was injured since May. 

“But now he is four weeks back in the training sessions with the whole team and looks good.

“Apostolos is a very strong player and he has improved very well in the pre-season. 

“He played the first game against Central Coast (in the FFA Cup Round of 32) and he has improved to the next step. 

“Kitto is always improving in the trainings and I am very happy with him because he’s a very important player for us.

“He has speed, was our best goal scorer last season, and is ready.

“Tomorrow I will find the solution for the travelling group and also the starting eleven.”

Adelaide United face Central Coast Mariners in Round 3 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Sunday, 4 November at Central Coast Stadium. Kick-off is at 4.30pm ACDT. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports and streamed on the My Football Live App.