Craig Goodwin believes Guillermo Amor’s Adelaide United side is the most hardworking team he’s ever played in.
Adelaide claimed the Hyundai A-League Premiers Plate thanks to their tight defence, with the Reds having conceded a competition-low 28 goals in the regular season.
The Reds’ defensive output is built around a well-drilled 4-1-4-1 formation and an incredible aerobic capacity, with the likes of Goodwin, Stefan Mauk and Sergio Cirio regularly sprinting back to ensure Adelaide have numbers around their defensive penalty area.
“I think the teams I’ve played in beforehand have all been hardworking but I feel there’s that little bit extra from the team to say ‘help out your mate’,” Goodwin told Goal Australia on Thursday.
“I think it’s well-noted that we’re a tightly knit group off the field, we’re close, we’re all good friends.
“So I think that adds to our game, that everyone wants to fight for each other, everyone wants to win and help the player next to you, and that’s obviously been something that’s been crucial to turning our season around.”
Goodwin has been particularly impressed with how Adelaide’s chief playmaker Marcelo Carrusca has bought into Amor’s system.
The Argentine midfielder’s example has convinced the rest of Amor’s side to roll up their sleeves.
“When you have a player like that, who can do all the flair and create so many good chances – when you see him putting in defensively and making slide tackles on the edge of your box or in a defensive situation – I think that lifts everyone around the team,” Goodwin said.
“To say ‘that’s our most creative player and he’s willing to put in that sort of dirty work as well’, so it kind of just lifts everyone.”
Adelaide will face Melbourne City at home on Friday night in the Hyundai Semi Final, with a spot in the Hyundai A-League Grand Final on the line and there won’t be a spare seat at Coopers Stadium.
Goodwin has warned City that the 16,500-capacity venue will be a tough place to visit.
“I think it [the crowd] can be massive,” he said.
“I know when I was at Newcastle, coming to Coopers Stadium and playing at Hindmarsh, it can be an intimidating type of ground because the stands are so close to you and it feels like the fans are on top of you.”