Happy at home – Coopers the key in Adelaide’s pursuit of top two finish

Happy hunting ground - Adelaide sit second on the home table with six wins from eight. Picture: Adelaideunited.com.au

After a loss at the death against Wellington Phoenix, Adelaide United is looking to propel itself back into the sought after top two position as it takes on Western United at home this Friday. 

The Reds took the lead through captain Stefan Mauk but were undone by a 97th minute Tomer Hemed penalty which saw them slip back down to fourth in the table and a whisker away from slipping out of the top six all together. 

United will be confident heading into Friday night’s game, though, as their record at Coopers Stadium speaks for itself. 

Adelaide has lost just one game at home all season and veteran defender Jordan Elsey says that the boys are looking to keep up that good form in front of the home fans. 

“We as a playing group love playing at Hindmarsh,” he said. 

“We have great fans that come here week in week out and we’re excited to have a lot of home games coming up to finish the season off.”

Because of this form and the atmosphere created by the United supporters, Elsey stresses that finishing the season in either first or second position is the ultimate goal for the side. 

Jordan Elsey is keen to get back to Coopers Stadium on Friday night. Picture: AUFC Media

“The top two is the main goal,” he said. 

“The top two, we want a home final. We love playing at home and I think we’re a great side at home and very confident.”

The game against Wellington was a chance for Adelaide to solidify a place inside that desired top two with a win sending them into first position on the table. 

Instead, the Reds are now two points adrift of league leaders Melbourne City but Elsey and the side remain focussed on the end goal and stress that the barrier between them and first place is not a mental one. 

“It’s definitely not a mentality thing, it’s just the way it works,” he said.

“It’s not like we go into games thinking ‘oh we’re gonna get top spot, oh no i’m scared’.

“We want top spot. Obviously we want that as a team and i think we can achieve that it just didn’t happen this week.”

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Elsey has every reason to be confident, as do Adelaide fans as they prepare to take on Western United. 

Only Melbourne City has accrued more points than Adelaide at home this season and the swing in favour of the home side is greater than just its own form. 

Opponents Western United happen to have the second worst away record in the league, registering only six points from seven games on its travels. 

The players are not the only ones relishing a chance to be back in front of an Adelaide crowd as head coach Carl Veart stressed the importance of each game leading into the finals. 

“All the games are very important now at the back end of the season,” he said. 

“There’s a lot of teams pushing to make the six and a lot of teams pushing to make that top two spot. 

“I’ve said before our home games are very important and we’ve had great success at home so i’m expecting tomorrow night to be no different.”

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