Strain expecting nothing less than a difficult match against much-improved Central Coast
Ryan Strain reflects on Adelaide United’s recent pre-season camp and looks ahead to their highly anticipated FFA Cup Semi-final.
Adelaide had spent five days in Victoria, playing a total of three friendlies against Western United and Melbourne City.
Strain said the training camp provided the perfect opportunity for the team to build chemistry and implement the coach’s instructions.
“It’s always good to get away with the team,” Strain said.
“We haven’t done that for a few seasons actually, so it was good to get away with the team and obviously have some team bonding and get all the boys together.”
The 22-year-old started at right-back and played the entire match in the Reds’ 2-1 win over City.
He said the team has been receptive to the tactics and style Gertjan Verbeek wants to employ.
“I think since the start of pre-season we’ve come a long way and really listening to what the manager wants,” he said.
“And I think we’re adapting well now, especially against Melbourne City, we could’ve been maybe 3-0 up at half-time because we had a lot of chances.
“But we just have to be more clinical in the forward third and I think we’ll be sweet.”
Strain said the camp has put them in good stead for their FFA Cup Semi-final with Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Wednesday night.
“Obviously we all got 90 minutes against Melbourne City,” he said.
“So all the lads are fit and ready to go and obviously in pre-season match fitness is really important coming into the big games against Central Coast.
“So the trip was really good for everyone really.”
It is the Mariners’ first appearance in the last four since 2014, when they incidentally lost 3-2 to the Reds, after four consecutive Round of 32 exits.
Strain highlighted the magnitude of the game and stressed his side cannot afford to be complacent.
“They definitely look better than they’ve been in their last few seasons,” he said.
“They’ve brought a few good players in and have got a few good players back from injury.
“We’re definitely not going to be complacent against them, they’re going to be really tough.
“Obviously it’s a massive game for them as well because there’s silverware on the line and they haven’t won silverware in a while so they’ll be pumped for it.
“So it’s going to be a really tough game but hopefully we can win and be in another FFA Cup Final.”
Adelaide United face Central Coast Mariners in the Semi-finals of the FFA Cup 2019 on Wednesday, 2 October at Central Coast Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACST. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports and Kayo Sports.