Verbeek interested to see Reds’ progress in FFA Cup clash


Gertjan Verbeek believes Adelaide United’s FFA Cup 2019 Round of 32 match against Melbourne Knights will provide a good indication of the progress made under his tutelage.

The Dutchman will take charge of his first competitive game for the Club on Wednesday night, in what will be an intriguing contest at Knights Stadium.

Verbeek admitted it was impossible to measure exactly how far the team has developed, despite playing two friendly matches against local National Premier League sides and an internal.

“We’ve a certain way of playing football when we have the ball and also a certain way of playing football when we don’t have the ball,” Verbeek explained to the media.

“And the transition is also important so all the aspects of football we’re training and I want to see how far the boys (have come).”

The former Twente tactician is hoping to see aspects learned from the training pitch implemented in the cup game by his players as the Reds look to advance to the last 16.

“… Of course, the last two to three weeks we’ve given a lot of attention to the tactics," he said.

“How do we want to defend to recover the ball, how do we want to build up.

“The corners and free-kicks we trained in both offensive and defensive (scenarios) and you want to see how the progress is.”  

Verbeek revealed he has analysed how the Knights play and said he was impressed with what he saw and that the pressure will be on them to advance to the last 16 as favourites.

“I’ve seen some matches now and I’ve used the weekend to see the videos from the games they’ve played the last several weeks,” he said.

“And I’ve seen a team that has a lot of experience, play offensive football and make some beautiful goals and have a strong striker.

“So it will always be difficult because they’re in the middle of their competition. So they’re used to how to defend and how to attack, and they’re very motivated to play against us.

“It’s always difficult a first-round game because the only thing you can do is win and that’s all that matters.”  

The Dutchman also ruled out the possibility of new signing Kristian Opseth and George Blackwood from featuring in the clash.

“Kristian Opseth will not be there because he only started training last week,” he confirmed.

“And George Blackwood is also not joining the squad because he just recovered from an injury.

“On Friday he trained for the first time and that’s not enough to be in the team on Wednesday.”

Adelaide United face Melbourne Knights in the Round of 32 of the FFA Cup 2019 on Wednesday, 7 August at Knights Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACST. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports.