Verbeek pleased with pre-season display, underlines areas for improvement


In his first match in charge, Gertjan Verbeek, admits he was relatively content with elements in Adelaide United’s pre-season friendly against MetroStars, while highlighting areas of improvement.

The Reds recorded a 3-1 win to kick-start the Dutchman’s tenure courtesy of goals from trialist Roland Alberg, George Blackwood and Kusini Yengi.

Verbeek, who observed the entire 90 minutes on a scaffold for a different perspective, reflected on the performance post-match and said there were some encouraging signs.

“I see a lot of good things of course there are some things we can improve,” he said.

“The tactical training we need to do because I’ve been away for one week because I had my wedding.

“After this week we’ll train more tactical and see how we go.

“The intensity was okay maybe a little bit tempered too high and also the opponent had some chances because the rest defence was not good enough.

“When you want to attack you must also have an eye for the rest defence because otherwise you can expect some problems in giving away goals.”

Highlights: Adelaide United vs MetroStars

Alberg opened the scoring after orchestrating a one-two move with Nikola Mileusnić in the first-half, before 11 new faces took to the field for the start of the second stanza, predominantly from the Club’s Youth Team.

Lachlan Barr equalised for Metro via a free header, but Blackwood’s penalty and an emphatic finish from Yengi got the Reds off on the right note.

Verbeek was pleased with the level of effort shown and revealed prior to kick-off he outlined three aspects he wanted to see from his players.

“I said three things: have a good attitude, work hard, and try to work on what we’ve spoken about the way we want to play football,”

“So we can discuss it this week and we can work on it in training.”

The former AZ Alkmaar boss, also provided an update on both Vince Lia and Jordan Elsey’s absence from the game.

“Vince Lia started Thursday in training so it was too early for him, but he trained before the game,” he stated.

“Jordan Elsey had a little problem with his muscle and he also trained this afternoon, so it was a precaution to not let him play.”

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.