Djite hits back at doubters


Adelaide United striker Bruce Djite denies a lack of on-field leadership is behind the club’s win-less start to the Hyundai A-League season.

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After four rounds, the Reds are the only side yet to register a win in season 2015/16 and are languishing on the bottom of the ladder.

No player in Guillermo Amor’s side has managed to score a goal yet either, with their two goals for the season coming from own goals.

While the performances haven’t been poor, and it is early days, the Reds have struggled to dominate teams and get results. 

Osama Malik on the ball against the Glory.

With skipper Eugene Galekovic out injured, Djite only returning from injury last week and experienced defender Nigel Boogaard leaving at the end of last season, there’s a feeling the Reds’ woes stem from a lack of leaders this campaign.

But it’s a notion that doesn’t sit well with Djite.

“I don’t think we lack leadership. I don’t think we’re the most vocal team but I don’t think we lack leadership at all,” the striker told reporters on Wednesday.

“Eugene is the captain and we’re missing him, there’s no doubt about that…but we have leaders in the team.

“We’ve got very experienced players, players who have dealt with situations 1000 times worse than where we are right now.

“You’ve got Tarek Elrich, ‘Celo [Marcelo Carrusca], [Sergio] Cirio, Isaias, these guys are experienced players. They’ve played in big games, they’ve played in difficult situations and very good situations.

Reds defender Tarek Elrich races forward under pressure from Mitch Nichols.

“They know within themselves how to adapt to get ourselves out of the situation where in now.”

Adelaide has a chance to get their season off the ground when they host Melbourne City at Coopers Stadium on Thursday night to kick-off round 5.

“It’s like a final for us. It’s a key game in shaping our season,” said Djite when asked the importance of the clash.

“But it is early and you’ve got to find the balance. If we win we’re not going to win the league necessarily. If we lose we’re not going to come last necessarily.

“We’re going out to win, we’re at home, we’ve got the fans behind us and there’s no reason why we can’t get all three points. That’s all we’re thinking about.”

Djite admitted the club’s goal-scoring troubles was a concern but it’s not something they have been dwelling on too much.

He pointed to the club’s attacking threat from last season – when they were the league’s second-leading scorers – and believes they can get back to that.

“The personnel hasn’t changed much. It’s the same players, same qualities [from last season],” he said.

“No doubt we have been in a tough patch of late but like we’ve been saying in the change room, it’s only round four.

“We have been working hard on it, everyone has been putting in the effort and the time and there’s no doubt in my mind and anyone else’s mind that we’re going to turn that around,” he added.

ADLvMCY Round 5