After scoring the equalising goal to seal a courageous fightback, George Blackwood says the team’s battling characteristics is attributed to the belief instilled by Head Coach, Marco Kurz.
Trailing 2-0 and reduced to 10 men following Ersan Gülüm’s controversial 18th minute dismissal, Adelaide United recorded a stunning comeback with 30 minutes remaining to salvage a 2-2 draw with Central Coast Mariners on Saturday night.
Jordan Elsey’s 61st minute header halved the deficit after Andrew Hoole’s early free-kick and an own goal from Ryan Strain.
But Blackwood stepped up to ensure a share of the spoils when he controlled Daniel Adlung’s cross before adjusting and firing his stinging effort in off the crossbar.
It sent the Coopers Stadium crowd into a frenzy in the 83rd minute, with the striker now bagging a prolific five goals in his past eight games.
“I just remember being free at the back post and sticking my hand up for Ady (Daniel Adlung),” explained Blackwood.
“And I just had a feeling because a few minutes before there was a similar ball that Elsey played to me and (Storm) Roux tried to judge it but it skidded on.
“It went past him and I didn’t read it so I made sure I read this one and was in line with the ball.
“I had a good first touch and just hit it and it went in and after that it was just unreal.”
The 20-year-old felt a point was the least Adelaide deserved considering the numerical disadvantage and the fact they had more chances at goal.
“I think we did really well as a team to comeback from 2-0 down with ten men,” he said.
“And in the end I think we had even possession with ten men and I thought we did really well in the second-half.
“We were pressing for a long time and we deserved the point for sure.”
Blackwood discussed the battling qualities instilled in the players by the German tactician.
Kurz’s men have now collected 12 points from losing positions this season, as the Reds’ resilience once again came to the fore.
“It’s either fight or go sit on the bench with Marco,” he said.
“That’s what we know we need to do, when we went down to ten men everyone was putting in the hard yards.
“When you go down to ten and you are down on the scoreboard as well, ten people need to attack and ten people need to defend.
“So it’s tough but we are a fit side and did really well and we do fight right until the end.”
Adelaide take on arch rivals Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park this Saturday.
Blackwood highlighted the magnitude of the clash, as a win would distance themselves from the chasing pack.
“I think it’s obviously a huge game, because they’re three points behind us,” he said.
“It’s a six-pointer so it’s a huge game, but we know what we need to do.
“Everyone knows their role and we are very confident we can get a result in Melbourne.”
Adelaide United will face Melbourne Victory in Round 21 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Saturday, 24 February at AAMI Park. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT.