Reds driven to maintain the standard in Sydney

Adelaide United FC’s playing group has taken it upon themselves to bring the same level of purpose and liveliness from their last outing into tomorrow’s match against Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.

Adelaide United FC-s playing group has taken it upon themselves to bring the same level of purpose and liveliness from their last outing into tomorrow-s match against Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.

The Reds were relentless in their pressure and intensity in their win over Melbourne Victory last Friday night, and interim United coach Michael Valkanis says the players have put an emphasis on backing it up as they look to make it three from three over the Sky Blues this season.

“Funnily enough in discussions with the players and the coaching staff it-s the players that have been driving that and have been talking about the standard and the benchmark we had against Melbourne Victory,” Valkanis said.

“It-s a good challenge moving forwards bringing the best out of the whole group in terms of what they-ve got to bring to every game.”

Something the players will have to contend with is not seeing their coach barking instructions from the bench as Valkanis is forced to sit in the stands as he serves a one match suspension after he was ejected from the technical area in last Friday night-s game.

However, Valkanis does not believe his absence will affect his players or how the game unfolds, Assistant Coach Serge Melta left with the responsibility of making the adjustments from the bench.

“We-re well prepared. We-ve done our work on the pitch and in terms of the coaching staff we-ve had our meetings and we-re well on top of what needs to happen, so Serge (Melta) knows the messages that have to be given to the team, we know our game plan and the roles of every player so I don-t think that will be a problem,” Valkanis said.

In trying to replicate the same level they performed at against the Victory and even take it up another gear, Valkanis exclaimed the Reds would not stem the approach they took into last Friday despite a handful of players receiving yellow cards in the opening half.

“I think teams like Central Coast and Western Sydney are more physical than we are and they-re first and second on the table,” Valkanis said.

“I think we can look at the way we went about our game last week and we also created a lot of scoring opportunities, it wasn-t just the defensive part of the game.”

“When we talk about being aggressive it doesn-t mean kicking people…it-s about closing down an opponent, forcing a turnover, forcing a mistake and winning the ball back as quickly as possible.”

Looking at Sydney FC-s recent results at home, Valkanis knows the Reds will need to bring their ‘A- game and a concerted 90 minute effort to be a chance of taking three points.

Inspired by Italian superstar Alessandro Del Piero-s on field contribution, the Sky Blues have won their past four games at Allianz Stadium, which included a 7-1 rout of the Wellington Phoenix.

Furthermore, the announcement that Sydney FC Coach Frank Farina has signed a longer term deal with the club is sure to give them even more reason to notch another victory at home.

“I don-t think there-s ever an easy time to catch Sydney…they are a very good team, they went through their problems earlier on but I think they-ve improved quite a bit,” Valkanis said.

“They-re well organised and they-ve won four games in a row at home so it-s definitely going to be a hard game…we-ve just got to stick to our game plan and the way we go about things to get the result that we want.”

Valkanis revealed the game plan against Sydney would include attempting to frustrate the home side through the Reds- discipline and tight shape when not in possession.

“I think it-s a matter of keeping our organisation and looking to put pressure in certain areas of the park to win the ball back,” Valkanis said.

“A lot of people talk about controlling the game when they-ve got the ball, why can-t you control the game when you haven-t got the ball in terms of how you organise yourself and get teams into areas they don-t want to be in.”

“I like to call it controlling the game when we haven-t got the ball.”

While winger Evan Kostopoulos has been ruled out as a precaution due to a groin niggle, new signing Tomi Juric is in the travelling party, Valkanis hinting the 21 year old striker would likely see some minutes in the latter stages.

“He (Juric) gives us the attacking option and a bit of depth on the bench,” Valkanis said.

“He-s done well at training, he-s mixed into the group well, he-s a good hard worker and he-s a motivated boy and determined to do well so I think he-ll be good for us.”

Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Season - Week 21 SYDNEY FC v ADELAIDE UNITED FC Saturday 16 February 2013, Allianz Stadium Kick-Off: 5.30pm AEDT (5.00pm ACDT) Referee: Strebre Delovski

TV: LIVE & Exclusive on Fox Sports 1 Radio: 891 ABC Adelaide, Grandstand Digital and online Twitter: twitter.com/adelutd_fc (hash tag #SYDvREDS)

Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 4.Jon McKain, 5.Iain Fyfe, 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, 25.Tomi Juric *one to be omitted

Ins: Nigel Boogaard (returns from suspension), Fabian Barbiero (promoted), Jake Barker-Daish (promoted), Paul Izzo (gk) (promoted), Tomi Juric (new signing) Outs: Cassio (suspended - 1 match), Evan Kostopoulos (groin - 1 week), Awer Mabil (returns to NYL), John Hall (gk) (returns to NYL) Unavailable: Bruce Djite (groin - 1 week), Fabio Ferreira (groin - 4 weeks)

Sydney FC squad: 1.Ivan Necevski (gk), 2.Sebastian Ryall, 3.Fabio, 8.Adam Griffiths, 9.Paul Reid, 10.Alessandro Del Piero, 12.Blake Powell, 13.Tiago Calvano, 14.Mitch Mallia, 15.Terry McFlynn, 16.Joel Chianese, 17.Terry Antonis, 18.Trent McClenahan, 20.Vedran Janjetovic (gk), 21.Yairo Yau, 23.Rhyan Grant, 26.Peter Triantis *two to be omitted

Ins: Yairo Yau (returns from international duty), Terry McFlynn (returns from suspension), Mitch Mallia (promoted), Trent McClenahan (promoted) Outs: Ali Abbas (suspended - 1 week), Brett Emerton (suspended - 1 week) Unavailable: Pascal Bosschaart (heel - season), Kruno Lovrek (knee - 4 weeks), Joel Griffiths (suspended - 1 week)

Adelaide United vs. Sydney FC - Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record Played 25 - Adelaide United FC 11 wins, 3 draws, 11 losses

At Allianz Stadium Played 13; Adelaide United 4, Sydney FC 7, Draws 2

Last time they met 31-Dec-2012 Week 14, Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Season at Hindmarsh Stadium Adelaide United FC 3 (Vidosic 19-/29- (pen), Ramsay 62-) Sydney FC 0