Players must learn to knuckle down: Kosmina

Coach John Kosmina has put the onus on his players’ mental resilience following last night’s disappointing defeat to Perth Glory.

Adelaide United FC Coach John Kosmina has put the onus on his players- mental resilience and willingness to dig in when the chips are down following last night-s disappointing defeat to Perth Glory.

A day after his team produced a superb opening 15 minute burst only to watch them fall into some old habits as they conceded another three goals at home, Kosmina exclaimed it was something he had not seen coming.

“Normally you get a feeling when things aren-t going to go right or go a bit pear shaped but that one came right out of the blue yesterday,” Kosmina said.

“We started a little bit uncomfortably in the first minute or two, but we dealt with that and where we went from the first minute to where we were 15 minutes later was phenomenal - the football was fantastic.”

“Looking at that you would have thought we could go on with this and it-s going to be a good afternoon.”

But football can be a cruel game and yesterday was a classic case in point. The Reds missed chance after chance to put Perth to the sword before finding themselves behind when a clinical finish from Shane Smeltz gave the Glory the opening goal.

Kosmina then watched on as the Reds went into their shells, something they had not done since he had taken over, the Glory turning the game into a real tussle and finding the back of the net twice more.

For Kosmina, this revealed even more to him about how much mentally stronger the Reds- playing group still needs to become.

“Yesterday it was a glass half empty and that-s what I-ve talked with them about a lot. The football side of it will look after itself but 90 per cent of the game is played upstairs and you-ve got to get part of it right,” Kosmina said.

“When things aren-t going our way you-ve just got to buckle down and work a bit harder.”

Striker Bruce Djite was one of those guilty of missing a number of chances during United-s dominant 15 minute period. A striker himself in his playing days, Kosmina understands the ups and downs forwards go through, and for Djite it would be a matter of continuing to work on and practise his trade on the training track.

“Strikers miss chances. They miss easier ones than that and they score harder ones. The thing is Bruce was in the area and we actually created the chance so next time hopefully he-ll stick one away,” Kosmina said.

“It-s always up to the players. People have got to take responsibility for their own outcomes…alright, Bruce missed some chances yesterday so maybe Robbie Slater was right on Fox last night, he (Djite) stays behind for 10 minutes after training and just hits the back of the net.”

“The more you put yourself in a situation where you need to perform a task, the better you become at it - it-s called skill.”

The result against Perth may not yet be 24 hours old but according to Kosmina, it is already out of the squad-s system. With eight games left of the regular season, the Reds- focus is squarely on what is now an even more crucial encounter against a confident Wellington Phoenix at Hindmarsh on Friday night.

“Yesterday is over and done with. We-ve got to think now about what we do against Wellington on Friday,” Kosmina said.

“They-ve now played themselves into second position and good luck to Wellington for doing it, but we beat them at home four weeks ago and we can do it again if we play like we did in the first 15 minutes yesterday.”

Tickets for the match against the Phoenix are available through Ticketek.