Ryan Strain believes Adelaide United must improve on being more clinical in front of goal.
The Reds were held to a 0-0 draw against Newcastle Jets on Sunday, and although a draw was a fair result on the balance of play, Adelaide did have the better chances.
Strain felt the team has not been performing too badly, but equally lamented their inability to capitalise on their opportunities.
“I think we’ve been playing alright, but I think we just need to take our chances when we get in front of goal,” Strain told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday.
“I think we had at least four good chances against Newcastle.”
Strain said recording a fifth clean sheet of the season was a positive to take away from the game against Newcastle.
He added that they need to be more ruthless in attack and play with more fluency in the final third if they are to be considered a serious title contender.
“We kept a good clean sheet away from home so we just have to take our chances and hopefully get three points away at Sydney,” he said.
“I think our final ball isn’t good enough at the moment and we have to work on our crossing and putting the ball into the back of the net.”
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Indeed, United travel to Sydney to face the Sky Blues on Friday night, desperate to arrest a three-game winless streak.
A win for the fourth-placed Reds over Steve Corica’s side – who currently sit second – would close the gap to five points.
Strain affirmed the team’s objective is to finish as high in the table as possible.
“Our goal at the start of the season was too obviously make finals,” he continued.
“But if we can hopefully snatch three points against Sydney, I don’t know why we can’t fight for third spot as well.
“We’re fourth now and we want to come in the top four but why not go for second or third (place).”
Adelaide United face Sydney FC in Round 21 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Friday, 1 March at Leichardt Oval. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT. Live on Fox Sports, and streamed on the My Football Live App and Kayo Sports.