Coolen confident heading into crunch game with Mariners

Adelaide United FC Head Coach Rini Coolen believes the Reds could not be better poised to try and overtake the Central Coast Mariners and take back second spot when the sides meet in one of the season’s most decisive matches at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday night.

Adelaide United FC Head Coach Rini Coolen believes the Reds could not be better poised to try and overtake the Central Coast Mariners and take back second spot when the sides meet in one of the season-s most decisive matches at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday night.

Just a point separates the Reds from the second place Mariners as the race for the remaining double chance in the finals approaches its climax, tomorrow night-s encounter already having a finals flavour about it.

The match has been billed as a classic ‘six point encounter- and the one that will decide second position. This is a notion Coolen accepts, although he knows every one of the Reds- four games from here on in to the end of the season will have a bearing on which position they enter the finals from.

“For the moment yes it-s one of them because we know exactly that we have to win all of our games, everything is in our own hands and it-s a six point game against them,” Coolen answered on if this encounter was the most important this season.

“Lose it and you have to wait for what happens in the games after, if we win then it-s in our own hands, so it-s one of the most important games of the season.”

Coolen can be guaranteed that the Mariners will prove a much more difficult proposition than when the Reds put eight past North Queensland Fury last week. The team from Gosford have only lost twice away from home this season and have failed to take points just once in their past ten outings, suggesting they will also have no shortage of confidence coming over and trying to spoil the Reds- party.

However, the Reds have bagged 12 goals in the past fortnight as they comprehensively disposed of Melbourne Victory and the Fury, and if Coolen-s thoughts on his squad-s intensity and standard of training so far this week are anything to go by, there is every chance another three points could come United-s way against the Mariners.

“We-ve trained the whole week fantastically at a real high level and I really feel confident for tomorrow,” Coolen said.

“What I found out in the last game we played there (against the Mariners in Gosford on Boxing Day), we had a chance to win that game, both teams didn-t play a high level.”

“What gave me confidence was that after that game we played a lot of good games…so we-re getting better and better and I think we-re more ready for this game tomorrow than the last time we played them.”

One notable absentee for the Reds- line up tomorrow night will be reliable defender Iain Fyfe. The 28 year old, who has played every game this season and scored four goals in the process, will miss what was meant to be his last game for the Reds before he departs to play with Korean club Busan I-Park because of a hamstring injury.

Robert Cornthwaite will replace Fyfe at the back while Coolen said new signing, Croatian defender Dario Bodrusic, was still some time away from being considered to make his debut appearance.

“A few weeks ago he (Bodrusic) played his last game, and when he came here of course he had problems with the jetlag, so he needs a couple of training sessions more,” Coolen said.

“We-ll look at it day to day how fit he is and at the moment our squad is strong enough, but we have to keep building everyone up for the rest of the season and the finals.”

As the Reds vie for second spot, Coolen reiterated his team must continue to deal with the pressure that comes with the territory. The Dutchman is set to get an indication of the mettle his team is made of after the final whistle goes against the Mariners tomorrow night.

“We feel every week is a kind of pressure and now it is a little bit more pressure and we have to find out if our team can handle it,” Coolen said.

“But if you see our last games and our last training sessions, we are real focused and definitely ready for the game tomorrow.”

Kick-Off is at 7.00pm (ACDT) and tickets are available through Ticketek. The National Youth League match between Adelaide United Youth and Sydney FC Youth will be played as a curtain raiser. Gates open at 3.45pm.

Hyundai A-League 2010/11 Season – Week 25
Adelaide United FC v Central Coast Mariners

Saturday 29 January 2011, Hindmarsh Stadium
Kick-Off: 7.00pm ACDT (7.30pm AEDT)
Referee: Strebre Delovski

Tickets: Available through Ticketek (call 132 849, online at www.ticketek.com.au)
TV: Live and exclusive on FOX Sports 1
Radio: 891 ABC Adelaide, ABC South Australia, 891 Digital and online at abc.net.au/adelaide

Adelaide United: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 6.CASSIO, 7.Lucas PANTELIS, 8.Adam HUGHES, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10.Marcos FLORES, 12.Paul REID, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Cameron WATSON, 17.Iain RAMSAY, 19.Mathew LECKIE, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 21.Francisco USUCAR

In: Lucas PANTELIS (promoted)
Out: Iain FYFE (hamstring)
Unavailable: Daniel MULLEN (knee – season), Joe COSTA (knee – season), Joe KEENAN (leg – season), Fabian BARBIERO (ankle – season), Andy SLORY (thigh – 1 week)

Central Coast Mariners: 2.Daniel McBREEN, 3.Joshua ROSE, 4.Pedj BOJIC, 6.Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 7.John HUTCHINSON, 8.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 10.Patricio PEREZ, 11.Oliver BOZANIC, 13.Michael BAIRD, 14.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 16.Trent SAINSBURY, 17.Chris DOIG, 18.Alex WILKINSON (c), 19.Matt SIMON, 20.Mathew RYAN (gk), 22.Mustafa AMINI, 23.Adam KWASNIK, 30.Paul HENDERSON
*three to be omitted*

In: Josh ROSE (returns from illness), Michael BAIRD (promoted), Chris DOIG (promoted)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Brad PORTER (knee – 6 weeks), Nik MRDJA (knee – 6 weeks), Jess VANSTRATTAN (knee – season)

Adelaide United vs. Central Coast Mariners – Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record
Played 18 – 6 wins, 6 draws, 6 losses

26-Dec-2010… L 0-2… 2010/11 Season Wk 20 (Bluetongue Stadium)
15-Aug-2010… D 1-1… 2010/11 Season Wk 2 (Bluetongue Stadium)
15-Jan-2010… D 1-1… 2009/10 Season Rd 23 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
31-Oct-20009… D 0-0… 2009/10 Season Rd 13 (Canberra Stadium)
11-Sep-2009… W 1-0… 2009/10 Season Rd 6 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
25-Jan-2009… W 1-0… 2008/09 Season Rd 21 (Bluetongue Stadium)
15-Nov-2008… L 0-3… 2008/09 Season Rd 11 (Bluetongue Stadium)
3-Oct-2008… D 3-3… 2008/09 Season Rd 7 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
14-Dec-2007… L 1-2… 2007/08 Season Rd 17 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
10-Nov-2007… L 0-2… 2007/08 Season Rd 12 (Bluetongue Stadium)
30-Sep-2007… W 2-1… 2007/08 Season Rd 6 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
21-Jan-2007… W 3-1… 2006/07 Season Rd 21 (Bluetongue Stadium)
25-Nov-2006… L 0-2… 2006/07 Season Rd 14 (Bluetongue Stadium)
6-Oct-2006… W 3-1… 2006/07 Season Rd 7 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
26-Feb-2006… L 0-1… 2005/06 Preliminary Final (Hindmarsh Stadium)
20-Jan-2006… D 1-1… 2005/06 Season Rd 19 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
13-Nov-2005… W 2-1… 2005/06 Season Rd 12 (Bluetongue Stadium)
25-Sep-2005… D 1-1… 2005/06 Season Rd 5 (Hindmarsh Stadium)

At Hindmarsh Stadium
Played 9; Adelaide United 3, Central Coast Mariners 2, Draws 4

Last time they met in the Hyundai A-League
26-Dec-2010 Week 20, Hyundai A-League 2010/11 Season at Bluetongue Stadium
Central Coast Mariners 2 (Simon 51-, van Dijk 78- (og))
Adelaide United 0

Adelaide United last three results
Wk 24. 21-1-2011… W 8-1… vs. North Queensland Fury (Hindmarsh Stadium)
Wk 22. 9-1-2011… W 4-1… vs. Melbourne Victory (AAMI Park)
Wk 21. 2-1-2011… L 0-1… vs. Brisbane Roar (Hindmarsh Stadium)