Team spirit high as Elsey, Reds target Victory scalp

Jordan Elsey says he is relishing the challenge of facing adversary Besart Berisha and Melbourne Victory in the Original Rivalry at AAMI Park on Saturday night.  

Elsey’s impressive header instigated the Reds’ comeback on their way to a 2-2 draw against the Central Coast Mariners at the weekend.

He marked his first goal for the Club since January 2014 with that trademark emu celebration.

Adelaide are now unbeaten in their previous three matches and Elsey revealed the morale within the dressing room was cheerful following yet another resilient fightback.  

“The wash up is good, it’s positive I mean we were down 2-0 with a player less and most outcomes is that you go on to lose the game,” he said.

“But we had faith and we all believed in each other from the half-time talk and went out there and showed what fight we have in us.

“And what fight we have had in us all year and obviously all the boys’ focus now switches to Melbourne Victory this Saturday.”

Taylor Regan is expected to replace the suspended Ersan Gülüm against the Victory after his controversial dismissal.

Elsey allayed qualms that it will take time to adjust with a different central defender alongside him, having played with Regan on a number of occasions.

“It’s not new we obviously did in the pre-season and in the FFA Cup,” he insisted.

“We get along fine, we gel together well and we know each other’s strengths.

“I mean Taylor is an experienced player and the same as Ersan, I’ll be looking to bounce off him and learn off him.”

While Marco Kurz’s men have recorded several comebacks of their own this season, Elsey’s own resurgence has been equally inspiring in the face of adversity.

The young stopper has been a revelation for the Reds this campaign since returning from a second knee re-construction.

“It just sort of tops it off, getting a goal,” he said when reflecting on his season so far.

“It’s good to be playing again after all the injuries and playing consistently and then doing well.

“Credit to the players I have around me for helping me through it and the coaching staff for definitely helping me.

“It doesn’t stop here, we keep pushing on and looking forward to the end of the season.”

The 23-year-old said he is again looking forward to competing against Berisha, praising the striker’s attributes.

“He’s not just a strong striker, but he’s sort of got everything,” he continued.

“He definitely keeps me on top of my game and I’m sure (Taylor Regan) Reegs will be excited to put the boots on and play against him as well.

“But then again we are not just focusing on him, we are focusing on the whole Melbourne Victory team.”

Adelaide United will face Melbourne Victory in Round 21 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Saturday, 24 February at AAMI Park. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT.