Verbeek laments disappointing performance
Gertjan Verbeek was left frustrated by Adelaide United’s poor performance against Wellington Phoenix on Sunday.
The Reds’ four-match winning streak came to an end after a 2-1 loss to the ‘Nix – their first defeat against the New Zealand based outfit since November 2015.
Nikola Mileusnić’s stunning volley out of nothing put Adelaide in front before David Ball and a controversial penalty converted by Ulises Davila gave the visitors all three points.
Verbeek was disappointed by the team’s subpar display, rating United’s outing as a “three or four out of 10".
“I saw a team that if I have to give them a number last week (against Melbourne Victory) it was a nine (out of 10), and today it was a three or four,” Verbeek told reporters in the post-match press conference.
“That’s a big difference and that’s too big. In that way you can’t win this game it’s impossible.”
Verbeek attributed the defeat to the players being too complacent which resulted in a considerable dip in their level of intensity compared to last weekend’s Original Rivalry triumph.
The Dutchman stated that all other aspects of football are meaningless if first and foremost the attitude of the players is wrong, before adding that Wellington deserved their victory.
“It had to do with the mindset,” he believed.
“I warned them already on Friday because I was very disappointed about Friday’s training (session), when we did tactical training.
“Yesterday also I was not satisfied, we did a lot of set pieces on Saturday and all defensive set-pieces were dangerous.
“So they weren’t sharp or aggressive and today they got a third warning from the opponent in the first-half.
“And we got a lucky goal, it was a beautiful goal, but lucky. They were the better team and you can talk about tactics and what’s going wrong.
“But if you start with the wrong mindset to do your job in this game you can’t play every time like last week but the difference is too big between last week and now.”
Verbeek said as Head Coach it is up to him to rectify the issues ahead of next Sunday’s home match against Newcastle Jets.
“On Friday I said I was not satisfied, I told the boys,” he said.
“And yesterday I repeated it but they’ve to do it, and they didn’t.
“It’s my job to get them sharp for the start of the game, it’s my job to do something during the game or at half-time.
“I did but it was not enough so it’s up to me.”
Adelaide United host Newcastle Jets in Round 9 of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season on Sunday, 8 December at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 5.30pm ACDT. Gates open at 4.30pm. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and the My Football Live App.