Mirko Boland is looking to finish the Hyundai A-League season strongly with Adelaide United following a lengthy injury lay-off which saw him sidelined for over four months.
The German started the first three FFA Cup 2019 matches before injuring his hamstring and later had surgery on his left knee to repair cartilage.
He would make his league debut in Round 15 against Melbourne Victory as a substitute.
Boland admitted the time away from playing football was extremely frustrating and that his focus is now solely on helping the team experience success.
“(It’s been) really, really frustrating,” he explained to the media at a press conference at Marden.
“I mean at the start of the season I felt pretty good then I got the (hamstring) injury, then another injury (left knee surgery).
“There was a time I felt a little bit embarrassed because I’m here to play football and I want to help the team.
“Now I’m back, I’m looking forward and thinking positive and the team is also doing well right now and I want to help the team for the rest of the season.”
Coinciding with Boland’s return, the Reds have enjoyed a three-match winning streak after suffering four consecutive defeats.
Boland said morale within the squad naturally improved as a result.
“With three wins in a row it’s really good,” he said.
“A really good atmosphere again and I think we have to keep going as long as we can and hopefully on the table we can make a couple of steps forward.
“But we know also that we have to invest in every game 100 per cent and maybe sometimes more.”
The 32-year-old was unsure what the exact catalyst for their turnaround in fortune was down to, but believed all they had to do was secure one win to snap the slump and they would be back on track.
And when Adelaide is firing on all cylinders, Boland felt his side can be very dangerous and compete with the very best teams.
“Sometimes you need to change the momentum,” he said, as the Reds lie equal fifth in the standings.
“And I think when you have a couple of losses that’s always hard for the team.
“I think we just had to win one game and then get into it and then we are feeling confident, we are feeling good.
“I think we have showed a couple of times in the season, that we have a good team, that we can play good football, offensive football – scoring a lot of goals and creating a lot of chances.
“We struggled a little bit with our defence but now it’s also getting better and go from there and show that we can improve and are learning.”
Adelaide United face Brisbane Roar in Round 18 of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season on Saturday, 8 February at Suncorp Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACDT. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and the My Football Live App.