Slory ready to start

Andy Slory’s first month in Adelaide may not have gone exactly as planned, but after making cameos off the bench in the Reds’ past two games, the Dutch winger is good to go from the outset if he is included in Adelaide United’s starting eleven for Friday night’s showdown with Melbourne Victory at the Adelaide Oval.

Andy Slory-s first month in Adelaide may not have gone exactly as planned, but after making cameos off the bench in the Reds- past two games, the Dutch winger is good to go from the outset if he is included in Adelaide United-s starting eleven for Friday night-s showdown with Melbourne Victory at the Adelaide Oval.

Jetlag, issues with his international transfer clearance and a thigh injury combined to delay Slory-s debut in the Hyundai A-League after he arrived in Adelaide in late December from his previous club in Bulgaria.

However, with these hurdles now behind him, and with 48 minutes of game time under his belt from the Reds- last two games, the former Dutch international says he is ready to start if he is called upon.

“It took my body two to three weeks to adapt. I think I lost two games through injury and one game for the clearance to come through, but I feel good now, my body has adapted well so I-m ready to start,” Slory said.

Although he is yet to play in an Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory encounter, Slory is aware of the hype around the contests. Slory had joined the Reds but missed out on being in the squad when the teams last met back on January 9 as the Reds ended a ten game losing streak to Melbourne with an emphatic 4-1 victory at AAMI Park.

Looking back to the build up to that game, the 28 year old recalls being informed about the rivalry and the influence of one Melbourne player in particular, but heading into Friday night-s encounter, Slory says the team-s focus is on getting a positive result regardless of who the opponent is.

“The first time that I was supposed to play (against Melbourne), everything was about (Kevin) Muscat, and now he isn-t playing,” Slory said.

“I think you have to win every game, whether you-re playing them or another team, you have to get three points and that-s the most important thing.”

Without a victory in their past three games, the Reds will be hoping to enter the finals series on the back of some winning form, and if Slory-s upbeat mentality is an indication of the mood the Reds are taking into the game, three points on Friday night is a distinct possibility.

The Reds currently hold down third spot on the table, a point ahead of Gold Coast United, who take on the Central Coast Mariners in a midweek fixture at Skilled Park tomorrow night.

Depending on the result at Skilled Park and Gold Coast-s final game against Brisbane Roar on Saturday night, the Reds will either remain in third or drop to fourth position heading into the finals.

A home elimination final awaits the following week regardless of which spot the Reds finish at the end of the minor round. While a top two finish and a double chance is now beyond the Reds, the pressure of a do-or-die clash is something Slory cannot wait to be part of.

The former Dutch Eredivisie star is no stranger to finals-type pressure, saying the expectations in the majority of games he played in were extremely high and that being involved in cut throat finals will not feel unfamiliar.

“The level in Europe, there is always pressure when you play, so I think you-ve got to get it in Australia as well,” Slory said.

“If you want to get the football to a higher level, you have to perform under pressure and every game you have to win, so for me it-s a normal thing and I think it should happen here as well.”

In addition, just a day after finding out in form left back Cassio has a thigh strain that could threaten his involvement in the first week of the finals, United Head Coach Rini Coolen revealed he was already more optimistic of having the Brazilian available for the club-s first final.

“The last news I have found out is a little bit more positive. He (Cassio) is definitely out for Friday and normally it would not be easy to get him fit for the week after, but he always recovers really quick, so hopefully he will be ready for the first game in the finals,” Coolen said.

Tickets for the Reds- match against Melbourne Victory are available through Ticketek.