Ben Halloran is confident Adelaide United can build on its 1-0 win over Melbourne Victory when they face newcomers Western United on Sunday.
The Reds ended a four-game losing streak against their fierce rivals, and Halloran urged his side to use that triumph as a catalyst moving forward.
The 27-year-old scored the decisive goal last Friday and said they cannot afford to rest on their laurels.
“I think there’s a real sense of relief amongst the boys,” he told reporters at a press conference after training.
“We know the job’s not done, you don’t just win one game and suddenly turn it all around.
“You still have to work really hard, but to get the win against Victory was really important for us.”
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) January 23, 2020
Halloran said the most noticeable improvement in their win from the preceding weeks was their lift in intensity.
“I think we just showed a lot more grit and desperation,” he said.
“That was probably lacking in the previous weeks, we weren’t playing bad football but we weren’t really showing that desperation we needed to.
“We were really good with the second balls and I think you could tell from the first minute that we really wanted to prove a point.”
Halloran continued by insisting that Adelaide will need to bring that desperation they displayed against Victory into their Western United meeting and beyond.
He also praised the club’s solid start to the campaign under Mark Rudan and discussed the prospect of facing a team that generally utilises a three-man defence.
“They’ve kind of flown under the radar a bit,” he said.
“They’ve done really well for a new franchise, they’ve been in the top six pretty much the whole way through.
“I watched them play last week against Central Coast, they were very impressive.
“It’s always a different ball game playing against three at the back, but a few other teams have done it, Perth and a few others.
“We’ve had a tactical session today, we’ll do another one tomorrow. I think it’s just about doing what we did against Victory.”
Adelaide United face Western United in Round 16 of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season on Sunday, 26 January at Whitten Oval. Kick-off is at 5.30pm ACDT. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and the My Football Live App.