Van Dijk confident Reds can step it up

Prolific Reds and former Brisbane Roar striker Sergio van Dijk believes Adelaide United can match it with the league leaders tonight and ensure the battle for top spot remains more than a one horse race.

Prolific Reds and former Brisbane Roar striker Sergio van Dijk believes Adelaide United can match it with the league leaders tonight and ensure the battle for top spot remains more than a one horse race.

Fronting up for a top of the table clash just fours days after beating Sydney FC at the Adelaide Oval, the Reds have the task of trying to unravel a Brisbane side that is undefeated in 18 games.

United sit points adrift of the Roar heading into tonight-s encounter at Hindmarsh Stadium, and van Dijk is well aware of how much a positive result would mean in United-s attempts to hold down second spot and keep alive any chance of catching the Roar.

“This game obviously we have to step up if we want to end the season in a good spot,” van Dijk said.

“If we can beat Brisbane, maybe their confidence takes a little bit of a hit and maybe they-ll crumble. If we try and do that there is some hope (of catching them).”

“At the moment they are playing really good football and tomorrow is an important game, but I-m confident we can step up another notch.”

Van Dijk is yet to taste success against his former club since making the move from Brisbane to Adelaide at the end of last season, the Reds recording a draw and a loss in their two meetings against the Roar so far in this campaign.

While both of those games were played at Brisbane-s Suncorp Stadium, now the Reds are at home, a place they have lost at just once this season. The home side have also been buoyed by their midweek victory over Sydney FC.

“It helps that you win, even though it-s against the team at the bottom,” van Dijk said of the confidence that came from beating Sydney FC at the Adelaide Oval.

“It gives you a better feeling going into a game like against Brisbane.”

Further to the momentum the Reds take into the game, van Dijk finds himself in a rich vein of scoring form with five goals from his past six games giving him 11 for the season. It is fair to say he would like nothing better than for his regularity of finding the back of the net to continue against his old side.

“Yeah it-s my old club, but if we play against any other team I-d want to win and score as well. There-s a little bit of an emotional tie there but it won-t be a problem,” van Dijk said.

Football has proven time and again that nothing is certain, but from the Reds- point of view, tonight presents arguably their best opportunity to do what no team has been able to do since September 12 - defeating the Roar.

Van Dijk acknowledges Brisbane have been the standout team in the league so far this season, and while van Dijk is an advocate for open attacking football, the league-s leading scorer hinted the Reds had a plan in place to disrupt and counteract the Roar-s style.

“To be honest we have to give them (the Roar) credit for the kind of football they play because it hasn-t been seen in the A-League for years and it is really attractive,” van Dijk said.

“They-re doing well, they-re on top, so they-re obviously doing something right, but there are other ways to win, and maybe it-s less beautiful but it could be just as effective.”

The top of the table encounter kicks off at 6.30pm with gates open at 3.20pm for the National Youth League curtain raiser at 3.30pm. Tickets are available through Ticketek.