Pressure on as Reds hunt Mariners

Coach John Kosmina believes patience and quick ball movement will be integral if the Reds are to shake up the Premiership race when they take on the Central Coast Mariners on Friday night.

Adelaide United FC Coach John Kosmina believes patience and quick ball movement will be integral if the Reds are to shake up the Premiership race and put stop to an ugly Bluetongue Stadium record when they take on the Central Coast Mariners tomorrow night (Friday 25 January 2013) in Gosford.

Last Friday-s loss to Melbourne Heart saw the Reds slip three points behind the league leading Mariners and with the way the situation lies going into the top of the table clash, Kosmina has turned the heat up on his team as they try to achieve something that no other club has managed to do in the Hyundai A-League so far this season - beat the Central Coast at Bluetongue Stadium.

“It is and we-ve put ourselves in a pressure situation,” Kosmina replied when questioned on the game's importance in the context of the season.

“We talked yesterday about good losses and bad losses, no loss is really a good loss but last week (against the Heart) was a bad loss.”

“We could be level with the Central Coast now and it was a game we didn-t need to lose…so the pressure is on this week, we-ve made it difficult for ourselves.”

Arguably adding to the difficulty of trying to topple the Mariners is the fact that the records indicate that the Reds have lost their last six games to the league leaders, while one has to go back to January 2009 for the last time an Adelaide United team tasted success at Bluetongue.

The equal stingiest team in the league and number one side in regards to fewest shots conceded, Kosmina knows the Mariners make life tough for opposition teams and said the Reds would need to use all of their football smarts if they are to buck the trend of previous meetings.

“They-re a very difficult team to break down. They drop off, they stay compact and they-ve got a ton of experience,” Kosmina said of the Mariners.

“We have to be patient. They are going to drop off, they don-t play a pressing game so we need to move the ball quickly and then try and penetrate when we get into the right areas.”

With matches against the two teams breathing down their neck (Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers) to follow the clash with the Mariners, Kosmina is not getting consumed by the big picture and any thought of dropping six points behind the Mariners and in a dog fight for positions in the top four.

Kosmina says it is a case of the Reds only focusing on the here and now of what they can control and the rest will take care of itself.

“We-ve just got to keep winning games. We don-t look at the negative side of it, we-ll worry about that if it occurs,” Kosmina said.

“What we-ve got to actually focus on is this game and forget about the table. You start looking at the table and you create pressure for yourself.”

“This is game by game time - ten games left and every one is a pressure match, so the more you win the more chance you-ve got of finishing higher up the ladder.”

Pleasingly for the Reds boss, a fit again Marcelo Carrusca will come off the bench after recovering from a groin injury, while defender Nigel Boogaard has been recalled to the starting eleven in place of Iain Fyfe having overcome a hamstring problem.

Despite the departure of Zenon Caravella to Newcastle during the week, Kosmina is comfortable with the options at his disposal, emphasised by Jake Barker-Daish now being fully fit after battling minor injury niggles for much of the season to date.

“We are down one but we-ve got Marcelo fit, Jake is fit for the first time since just after the pre season campaign…so we-ve got a lot of quality coming back to good health,” Kosmina said.

The odds could be stacked well against the Reds looking at past results but once the teams cross the line, previous records count for little. Kick-Off is at 7.00pm ACDT.

Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Season - Week 18 CENTRAL COAST MARINERS v ADELAIDE UNITED FC Friday 25 January 2013, Bluetongue Stadium Kick-Off: 7.00pm ACDT Referee: Peter O'Leary

TV: LIVE & Exclusive on Fox Sports 1 Radio: Score updates on 891 ABC Adelaide Twitter: twitter.com/adelutd_fc (hash tag #CCMvREDS)

Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 3.Nigel Boogaard, 4.Jon McKain, 6.Cassio, 8.Marcelo Carrusca, 10.Dario Vidosic, 12.Antony Golec, 14.Cameron Watson, 16.Daniel Bowles, 17.Iain Ramsay, 18.Fabian Barbiero, 19.Jake Barker-Daish, 20.Paul Izzo (gk), 21.Jeronimo Neumann, 23.Evan Kostopoulos

In: Nigel Boogaard (returns from injury), Marcelo Carrusca (returns from injury), Paul Izzo (gk) (returns from injury) Out: Iain Fyfe (omitted), Zenon Caravella (released), John Hall (gk) (returns to NYL) Unavailable: Bruce Djite (groin - 2 weeks), Fabio Ferreira (groin - 2-3 weeks)

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1. Mathew Ryan (Gk), 2. Daniel McBreen, 3. Joshua Rose, 4. Pedj Bojic, 5. Zachary Anderson, 6. Patrick Zwaanswijk, 7. John Hutchinson (c), 8. Adriano Pellegrino, 9. Bernie Ibini, 11. Oliver Bozanic, 13. Brent Griffiths, 14. Michael McGlinchey, 15. Brad McDonald, 16. Trent Sainsbury, 17. Anthony Caceres, 18. Nick Montgomery, 19. Mitchell Duke, 20. Justin Pasfield, 21. Mile Sterjovski, 23. Adam Kwasnik, 26. Nick Fitzgerald *six to be omitted

In: Bernie Ibini (returns from overseas), Adriano Pellegrino, Brent Griffiths, Brad McDonald, Mitchell Duke (all promoted), Nick Fitzgerald (new signing) Out: Nil Unavailable: James Oates (ankle - 2 months)

Adelaide United vs. Central Coast Mariners - Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record Played 23 - 6 wins, 6 draws, 11 losses

At Bluetongue Stadium Played 11; Adelaide United 3, Central Coast Mariners 7, Draws 1

Last time they met in the Hyundai A-League 1-Dec-2012 Week 9, Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Season at Bluetongue Stadium Central Coast Mariners 2 (Rose 45-, Montgomery 76-) Adelaide United FC 1 (Djite 17-)