Adelaide United stunned the Brisbane Roar last weekend thanks to a first-half double from Tom Juric.
The Reds had their doubters in the lead-up to the match, but shut those down with an inspired victory. United boss Carl Veart spoke to the media on Friday morning, stating that the Reds are confident heading into their semi-final clash with Sydney.
“Yeah, the mood on the track as you can imagine has been good all week,” Veart said.
“The boys were very focused this morning in training as well. They have a good chance to win this game.”
Steve Corica’s Sydney FC side are gunning for an unprecedented three-peat, and Veart made it clear that they are the team to beat.
“Yeah they have been [the best] for the last three or four years and there’s no hiding that,” he said.
“Tomorrow night we will have to be at our best to get the win. It is a difficult one [stopping Sydney scoring], we had a good look at them this week and over the course of the season, we have come up with a plan that we believe will restrict their opportunities to score goals.”
The last time the two sides met, Sydney managed to grab the three points in a 4-1 win. However, the United boss knows what went wrong and what his side can do to stop it from happening again.
“It’s just that transition moments, Sydney FC defend very well and they are very good in transition,” Veart said.
“It’s important that we don’t get caught open when we are in possession of the ball and limit those transition moments when they can get the ball behind us and score.”
Not many pundits were expecting Adelaide to defeat the Roar last weekend and the Reds boss was asked if the playing group has confidence they can do it again.
“Yeah most definitely, look last week’s performance was tremendous.
“We didn’t play at our best, but we managed to win. That’s something we know we can do and knowing that we have to play better than what we did last week to get the result.”
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Striker Tom Juric was the hero against the Roar, netting a first-half brace. It is quickly becoming clear just how important he is to Adelaide, a sentiment his manager echoed.
“I said at the beginning of the season when we recruited Tommy that I believe he is the best striker in the country,” Veart said.
“He showed that last week that when he’s at his best when he’s fit and strong he is very hard to stop.”
After such an incredible performance, Juric will surely be riding a wave of confidence. Veart stressed that strikers are notoriously difficult to keep confident if they are not scoring goals.
“All strikers are confidence players and that’s why they are strikers,” Veart said.
“When they are scoring goals they are confident, and they feel [on] top of the world. It’s a matter of trying to keep that confidence all year round. But it’s difficult for strikers because they believe aren’t performing unless they are scoring.
“Tommy is going into tomorrow’s game now on a high after the performance last week. The two goals he scored were sensational, we are looking forward to using him again [Saturday] night.”
With a spot in the Grand Final on the line, Veart made it clear how proud he was of his side for their efforts so far in this campaign.
“You know we started the season we had a lot of younger players in the squad,” he said.
“Over the course of the season, we have brought in a few more experienced players. [I’m] just very happy to have got where we are now, and we have gotten a lot of games into the younger players and looking forward to what we can achieve next year as well with this playing group.”
With this being his first full season in charge of the Reds, Veart was not going to be drawn into possibly winning the Grand Final in his first year.
“We will worry about those things afterwards.
“At the moment, as I said, we are concentrating to get the best out of the players and challenging the players to be at their best tomorrow and get the win.”
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