Nikola Mileusnic believes Adelaide United are genuine title contenders if they continue to develop under Head Coach, Marco Kurz.
The Reds demonstrated a steely resolve after going down to nine men to hold on for a 2-1 win against fierce rivals Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.
Strikers Baba Diawara and George Blackwood scored their first league goals of the season, securing the South Australian’s fourth victory of the campaign.
He revealed the squad is buzzing after the plucky win, and believes it is a result they can build on moving forward.
“Everyone’s happy we got the win,” Mileusnic told Fox Sports after the match.
“It’s a derby so it’s a big game for us and a big game for them.
“To get the three points is massive we were very close on the table so it will put us in good stead for the upcoming weeks.”
This year is the 24-year-old’s second professional season as a footballer after playing in the National Premier League with Adelaide City and White City.
Mileusnic feels he has adjusted well to the increased intensity of the Hyundai A-League, especially considering he has the confidence from his teammates and the coaching staff.
“It’s always that next level up and you could say I’m still getting used to it a bit,” he said.
“But I think I’ve adapted well and the more game time I get the better it will be for me.
“And it’s easy when you have a team helping you and supporting you and believing in you as well as from the coach.”
Mileusnic provided the pass for Blackwood’s goal after the speedster cleverly dribbled past his opponent.
“It’s always good to play a part in the goal even if you’re assisting,” he said.
“Georgie (Blackwood) made a good run and I just tried to give it to him and it went to him and he scored a fantastic finish.”
Following such a hard-fought victory, Mileusnic was also asked about the team’s title credentials and stated the belief is there if they continue improving.
“We can definitely win the championship,” he insisted.
“Every team will believe they can win it and I back our team and our coaches and everyone to go all the way.
“If we don’t come through at the end and we give everything we can hold our heads high.”
Adelaide United will face Newcastle Jets in Round 11 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Saturday, 16 December at McDonald Jones Stadium. Kick-off is at 5.05pm ACDT.