‘Did we play our best tonight? No… but I’m very happy with the result’ – Veart

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Adelaide United coach Carl Veart has warned his side did not play at its best despite brushing past reigning Isuzu Ute A-League premier Melbourne City six-nil on Sunday night.

The 10,628 crowd at Coopers Stadium was treated to an entertaining contest that saw a double from Bernardo and goals from teenagers Nestory Irankunda and Musa Toure alongside a maiden Reds score from English recruit Ryan Tunnicliffe and an own goal.

Asked whether it was the best win since he had been at the club, Veart was not so sure, and while he was happy with the result, he suggested there was more to see from his side.

Speaking to the media after the game, the coach also discussed the contribution of his talented young brigade, the knee injury to Alexandar Popovic, and the challenge of facing both of last year’s Grand Finalists in consecutive weeks.

Carl Veart on the performance on Sunday night:

“I suppose it’s a good time to get City on the back of that Champions League game in Thailand. We knew that they would maybe be a little bit flat and we went quite hard at the beginning of the game. But then saying that, they responded quite well in the second half and that first 10-15 minutes of the second half, Joe (Gauci) saves that penalty. If that goes in the game is a completely different game. And then from that we made a few changes that sort of freshened things up a little bit and made it very difficult for them. We knew that they said they would tire and Bernardo and Musa when they came on caused lots of problems for them.

“We’ve had a lot of good wins. But you know, to win six-nil, it’s always a great result. Did we play our best tonight? No, we didn’t. But I’m very happy with the result.”

Carl Veart on starting the season with wins over both of last year’s Grand Finalists:

“It was it was always a tough draw. but in saying that we started with two home games. We’ve never done that before. And we’ve always known that this is a very difficult place for teams to come and play so we were confident that we could get off to a good start, but there’s still a long way to go. And it’s going to be a cracking game next Saturday in in Melbourne so we’re really looking forward to that challenge. We’re challenging this group because we’ve gotten so close in previous years, and we need to be more ruthless. And I think we saw that tonight.”

Carl Veart on his side’s younger players Nestory Irankunda, Bernardo and Musa Toure contributing on the scoresheet:

“We’ve got a little bit of criticism in this offseason because we didn’t really bring players in. But we wanted to make sure we kept giving those opportunities to the young players – we’ve got a great group at the moment. We saw some of them tonight, and there’s still some more, they’re waiting to get their chances as well. Young players will surprise you if they’re given the opportunity, and they can see that they’re going to get rewarded for the work then they will lift and surprise people

“We want Nestor (Irankunda) to go on and play in the big leagues in Europe, we want more Bernardo, we want Jonny (Yull), Panashe (Madanha), we can keep naming all the kids – we want them all to get a good grounding here. We don’t want them to go too early and I think because we’ve seen that too many times players that go too early, go to leagues that are at a higher level. It’s important that we’ve signed a lot of the younger players to three-year deals so we can make sure we give them you know, 50 60, 70 games before we send them off to a club where they can then be confident in what they do and achieve their next level.”

Carl Veart on the knee injury that saw Alexandar Popovic leave the pitch:

“He’s tweaked his knee a little bit. We will just have to wait for it to settle down tonight and have a scan on it tomorrow and see where it is. Hopefully it’s not too damaging. The doctor doesn’t think is anything major there but there’s something definitely there.”

Carl Veart on Nestory Irankunda’s free kick to open the scoring:

“I’m surprised that he actually hit that one as a normal strike and not one of his other strikes that he practices. He practices a lot, sometimes we have to make sure he comes in because he’s always out there practicing. I don’t even know what you can call it because the ball does things that I’ve never seen it do when he strikes at times. He’s certainly a special talent, but he’s still got to keep working to get to where he wants to get to.”

Carl Veart on the joy his young players play with:

“It’s very important that everyone enjoys their football and plays with a smile. I’ve always said that. And, and you smile a lot more when you’re winning. We don’t give too many instructions to the players because they understand how we want to play, then they have the freedom to do whatever they want to do. If they want to do step overs, if they want to do backheels, they have that complete freedom to do that. I said to Nestor, it’s important that he doesn’t think too much about his football, that he has to play on his instinct.”

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