Adelaide United defender, Tarek Elrich, has said the mid-season break has given the team added hunger as they go into the second half of the 2014/15 season.
With the break being implemented due to Australia’s hosting of the 2015 Asian Cup, United has been out of action since their 2-1 victory of Perth Glory on January 5 and won’t play again until January 24.
But Elrich has welcomed the change in the A-League season structure, stating that it was a great chance for players to have a break from a hectic festive period and regenerate as the Reds push for domestic glory.
“It was good to get some time away,” Elrich said.
“It was the first time that we’ve had a mid-season break and I enjoyed it and went back home and spent some time with the family. But we’re back into it now.
“Josep (Gombau) spoke to us all before we went on the break and he made sure that we all got complete rest. He said that we’d have two full weeks of training when we (returned) to prepare for the Newcastle game and he just wanted us to get away from football (for a while).
“Our bodies needed a bit of a break and a few boys were batting towards the end (of the year) and Josep saw that.
“Last season we were playing ‘catch-up’ at this point, so we’re in a comfortable position. But saying that, we’ve still got plenty of games to go and we can’t sit here and dwell on what we’ve achieved so far.
“We have to make sure we get better as a team and (we) know we have a lot to improve on and once we do improve on the little errors we’re making in the games, I think we can be title contenders.”
Elrich also said that as important as it was for the players to rest their bodies in a physical sense, it was also necessary for them to revitalise the mental states.
“We spoke about (the second half of the season) before going on the break in terms of making sure we recharged the batteries,” he explained.
“We’ve had a good start to the season, but we’re looking to finish off even better.
“As a team (we) wanted to come back fresh and make sure it wasn’t only our body, but our minds as well.”
Briefly speaking about the Reds next match against Newcastle Jets, Elrich made mention of the team’s desire to get the result against the Jets, especially considering they won against us in round 11.
“Newcastle are obviously hungry (for results). They beat us last time (we played) and I think we owe them one.
“The boys are really looking forward to it.”
Adelaide United will play Newcastle Jets at Coopers Stadium in Round 15 of the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League season on Saturday, 24 January 2015. Kick off is at 4.30pm ACDT. Click here to purchase tickets.