Sunday’s performance in Brisbane was an indication of the progress the Reds have made in an attribute Coach John Kosmina has regularly mentioned since he took over.
Since he took the reins just before Christmas last year, there is one trait John Kosmina has regularly been heard mentioning that the Reds needed to develop, and Sunday-s performance in Brisbane was an indication of the progress they have made in this area.
United returned home with its fourth win of the season after holding out Brisbane Roar, an early Dario Vidosic goal triggering a gutsy and committed defensive effort for long periods for remainder of the game as the Reds tried to keep their lead.
It may not have been pretty at times but there was no questioning the Reds- dedication not to crack, which is what eventuated this time last season as the Roar scored seven goals in a Suncorp onslaught.
But this time was different. While not completely happy with his team-s lack of maintaining possession, Kosmina is beginning to see the fruits of the emphasis he has put on making the Reds a more resilient team.
“We turned the ball over too much but in terms of what we did defensively we were really well structured…we probably didn-t have to be as deep as we were, but our line was good, we were compact and we made it difficult for them to play,” Kosmina said.
“They had a lot of possession and Brisbane will always have a lot of possession against any team in the competition but they didn-t really get in behind and they didn-t break the lines that often…structurally we were really good.”
“It-s a long way if you look at where the team was 12 months ago - we couldn-t hold that kind of pressure, we couldn-t sustain the concentration, the focus and the discipline (but) now we can.”
“We-re resilient and I talked about resilience a lot in the ten months that I-ve been here and they-re really starting to show that.”
At the same stage last season, the Reds sat ninth with just one win and having conceded 11 goals. Now, they find themselves top with just three goals against. It may still be way too early to begin getting carried away, but the opening month of Season 8 has seen the Reds make an extremely encouraging start.
The next test comes in the shape of Perth Glory in a Remembrance Day clash at Hindmarsh on Sunday. Tickets are available through Ticketek.