After enjoying a successful knockout campaign in the FFA Cup 2018, Marco Kurz believes his Adelaide United players are well equipped to deal with the pressure that comes with an Elimination Final.
The Reds host Melbourne City tomorrow night at Coopers Stadium with the subsequent winner progressing to the next round and an away meeting with Perth Glory.
Both sides are at full strength which is something Kurz thinks will only add to the spectacle.
The German was pleased to know all his players are fit and available, but was keeping his cards close to his chest in regards to his starting eleven.
“It’s good to know we had the same luxury before the last game in Brisbane but now we’ve the experience,” Kurz told reporters at the pre-match press conference.
“Baba (Diawara) is also back and the other players that had long injuries like (Ben) Halloran, (Nikola) Mileusnić and (George) Blackwood, they’ve now had a couple of games in their legs and that means they’re one hundred per cent fit for tomorrow.
“And I think it’s good to know, because I think our opponents also have their best squad available.
“That’s good for the league that tomorrow two teams with their best teams are playing against each other.”
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) May 3, 2019
Kurz added that the Reds have experienced the do-or-die territory that is attached to knockout games of this magnitude, highlighting their FFA Cup Final victory over Sydney FC back in October.
The former Schalke 04 defender said that can only be advantageous for his players.
“If you think about the season we won the (FFA) Cup,” he said.
“That means we now have the experience of being a champion and that’s very important and can be helpful for the finals.
“Because we had the experience of playing knockout games under pressure and also in front of our fantastic fans against Sydney FC in the final.”
However, standing in their way of course is a City outfit Kurz has never beaten since his time in charge of Adelaide.
Kurz praised the squad’s quality but was confident the Reds can achieve their desired result if they perform to their potential.
“I think they’ve always, last and this year a fantastic squad,” he continued.
“They’ve fantastic players and for me one of the best squads in the league and they play a good style.
“They’ve a couple of good players and we must be awake and we must be in control.
“… After the last three games we know that we can beat them, we know that if we’re playing our best football we can beat them.
“That’s our goal tomorrow and it’s up to us. I think all three games (against them this season), also the game we lost here (at Coopers Stadium) they were very close.”
Adelaide United host Melbourne City in a Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Elimination Final on Sunday, 5 May at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 6.30pm ACST. Gates open 5.30pm.