Despite the FFA Cup 2018 Final just eight days away, Ryan Strain says Adelaide United must solely focus on their next opponents, Newcastle Jets.
The Reds take on the Novocastrians at Coopers Stadium on Friday night, with Strain insisting his side will not be looking beyond Ernie Merrick’s men.
Adelaide host Sydney FC in the cup final just four days later, but Strain stated the team’s objective was simple – take it one match at a time.
“I think we’ve to take it just one game at a time,” Strain told reporters when questioned if the squad’s attention had already turned to their impending cup decider.
“The league is very important as well so we go full steam into this game and hopefully we don’t pick up any injuries.
“And hoping we get the victory and then everyone is fit for the game on Tuesday.”
Nikola Mileusnić, George Blackwood, Ryan Kitto and Baba Diawara are nearing a return to full fitness, and Strain was hopeful the quartet will be available for selection soon.
“We’ve got a very big squad this season,” he said.
“It’s very competitive, everyone has to train well because if you don’t you’ll lose your spot.
“Everyone’s back on the pitch and looking forward to Friday night.”
The 21-year-old’s ability to play in a number of positions since experiencing a breakthrough season last year with the Reds is also something he believes is an important trait to have.
Strain, traditionally a right-back, started on the right-wing against the Sky Blues in the Round 1 encounter before finishing proceedings at left-back.
And his versatility is proving indispensable for Head Coach, Marco Kurz.
“I’ve played a few positions now here,” Strain said.
“I’ve played at right-back, left-back, right-wing, centre midfield and left-wing.
“So I think as a professional footballer you should be able to play a few positions and coming through my youth ranks I played in centre midfield, right-back and right-wing.
“So it’s not new to me changing positions, I enjoy playing on the wing but I think my strongest position is full-back.
“But I don’t mind where ever the coach puts me I’ll play.”
Adelaide United host Newcastle Jets in Round 2 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Friday, 26 October at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports and the My Football Live App.