Adelaide United FC enters Friday night’s home encounter with the Newcastle Jets just three points off second spot and midfielder Iain Ramsay believes finding consistency is the key to the Reds rising up the Hyundai A-League table.
United’s match with the Jets is the first of two consecutive Friday night games at Hindmarsh Stadium as they host the Central Coast Mariners the week after, presenting the eighth placed Reds with an opportunity to make the progress they made in the past three games count.
Ramsay, who has enjoyed an impressive past month and been one of the reasons for United’s recent form reversal, is aware that the Reds must work on maintaining a high standard in order to capitalise on the Hyundai A-League log jam, which sees eight of the ten teams separated by just three points.
“(On a personal level) I’m enjoying this season very much but the biggest thing for me is that we start to win a lot of games consistently and if we do that we’ll get ourselves right back up the table,” Ramsay said.
“It hasn’t been the greatest start for us this season but the last two or three games we haven’t lost and we’ve got a bit of consistency behind us and we’re growing week in, week out with confidence and we’re all buzzing for Friday night.”
“There a number of players coming back from injury, but the biggest thing for us is consistency and everyone has to be ready and prepared for when they come in to do their jobs.”
Ukrainian midfielder Evgeniy Levchenko and defender Milan Susak are two of those players to return from injury and be available to face the Jets.
Following last Saturday’s gallant performance in Auckland, Reds Head Coach Rini Coolen said he was unlikely to make any unforced changes to the squad for the clash with the Jets, signalling that only Susak would probably come in to replace the injured Cassio.
“I prefer not to change so much with the squad from last week. We did well and those players are fit at the moment,” Coolen said.
“Susak and Levchenko both trained yesterday and the day before. Losing Cassio, the easiest way is to have a straight swap and bring Milan in on that position.”
The club is still waiting on confirmation of a final prognosis on Cassio’s foot injury which he suffered in the first half against the Wellington Phoenix, Coolen hoping for positive news but also bracing for the worse case scenario.
“It’s really disappointing…he’s not available for this game, but he could also be out for a longer period,” Coolen said.
The Jets took it right up to standout league leaders Brisbane Roar last weekend, and under new Head Coach Gary van Egmond and with a host of talented players including the returning Michael Bridges, the Reds will need to be at the top of their game to secure what are become an increasingly precious three points.
Interestingly, it has been over a year since the Reds and the Jets have met in the Hyundai A-League, their last meeting coming on November 19 last year.
The match will also raise awareness of White Ribbon Day, which is held on November 25 each year and is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. In acknowledging the cause, both teams will have white shoe laces in their boots and the coaches will display white ribbons on their shirts.
The game will also see the Reds’ playing shorts featuring the panda logo to promote Zoos SA and Adelaide’s two giant pandas, Wang Wang and Funi. After the game each of the United players will sign their shorts and they will be auctioned off online with proceeds going to Zoos SA.
Location: Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
Date: Friday 25 November 2011