Veart content with finals berth, admits Reds must improve

Carl Veart was relieved to have sealed Adelaide United’s position in the top-six following its 2-2 stalemate with Western Sydney Wanderers on Thursday night.

The Wanderers scored two first-half goals to extinguish Adelaide’s opener before Craig Goodwin came to the rescue on 56 minutes with the crucial equaliser.

Heading into the last match of the regular season, the Reds just needed a point to ensure a first finals appearance in two years.

Veart was pleased to have clinched a finals spot but admitted his side must improve if they are to be considered a serious threat during the playoffs.

The Reds made a blistering start in the opening exchanges.

However, after failing to completely capitalise on its dominance they were punished, something Veart lamented.

“It’s been a long season,” Veart said.

“Our goal was to make the finals, so we’ve achieved that. But we’ve still got a long way to go.

“I think tonight’s performance showed that. I think we started well then had a bad patch in the middle then finished strongly.

“If we’re going to go a long way in the finals, we can’t allow opposition teams back in games – it’s been the Achilles’ heel of ours all season.

“When we’ve been on top of games, we haven’t closed them out.”

Match Highlights | Adelaide United vs Western Sydney Wanderers

The draw means Adelaide’s hope of a home elimination final is in the fate of other clubs and will now need results over the weekend to fall its way.

Veart acknowledged while a clash at Coopers Stadium would be “fantastic”, where they play is inconsequential.

“It would be fantastic for our supporters and our sponsors if we managed to get a home final,” he said.

“But going back to my playing days at Adelaide City we were always good in finals away from home.

“So at the end of the day we’ve to go and win. It doesn’t matter if it’s home or away you have to win to win the Championship.

“That’s what we’ll have to do. Recover from this game and then watch the games over the weekend and see who we’re going to play and then work towards getting a good result.”

When asked if United could go all the way and win the Championship, Veart insisted his side was capable of achieving that if they play to their potential.

“I’ve got total belief in this playing group and when they’re playing at their best I don’t think there’s a better side to watch,” he continued.

“They’re a very exciting, it’s an attacking brand of football. It’s just a matter of finishing games, it’s something we have to improve on especially if we want to go a long way in the finals.”