Time is of the essence for Reds

Bruce Djite is well aware time is starting to run thin for the Reds, and with seven games to go, it is simply now a case of ‘go hard or go home’.

Striker Bruce Djite is well aware time is starting to run thin for the Reds, and with seven games to go, it is simply now a case of ‘go hard or go home-.

After dropping points at home for a second consecutive week, the Reds- road en route to a possible finals berth has become that bit steeper and more delicate.

Five points shy of sixth placed Newcastle, there are still enough games in the season for the Reds to make a late surge if they believe they are good enough, and Djite says the squad believes they are.

“We back ourselves. We-ve got to go hard or go home and that-s the situation we find ourselves in now,” the Reds striker said at the team-s recovery session at Henley Beach following the 2-1 loss to Wellington.

“There are still 21 points up for grabs and we-ve got to claim a big chunk of that to give ourselves any chance of making the top six.”

A season that started with so much hype, promise and expectation has certainly not turned out that way, and Djite is more than willing to admit it. Touted as a serious championship threat before the season, the Reds have largely struggled to live up to the billing. While a number of injuries could be argued to have played a part, Djite refuses to blame any lack of available personnel as why it has not all gone to plan.

“I back the boys…we-ve had a lot of injury problems but that-s no excuse because at the start of the season we were saying how great the depth (in the squad) was, so I back the players we have and our starting eleven is fantastic and the guys on the bench are doing a great job when they get a chance to come on,” Djite said.

“It-s important that we do our best to put a good foot forward and show the public we are good, but it is certainly a long way back now.”

While a win has not been forthcoming in United-s past six games, Djite is adamant the club is on the right track and Coach John Kosmina-s influence and effect on the group is gradually increasing for the better with each week.

“Kossie has done a great job since he came in. The results in the last couple of weeks haven-t been the best but we should have beaten Perth, should have beaten Newcastle and Central Coast, but should of, could of and didn-t,” Djite said.

“But Kossie has done a great job…that sort of man management is few and far between and I think he-s got that with a lot of players here. Cassio and Lev haven-t played in a long time and they came back and he gave them a lot of confidence during the week and it showed in their games, they played quite well.”

It is not panic stations yet, but the Reds definitely need to go hard, starting on Sunday against Gold Coast United, because before they know it a place in the finals could quickly pass them by.