Marco Kurz is confident his side can make a positive start to the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season as Adelaide United host Sydney FC at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.
The Reds come into clash off the back of reaching the FFA Cup 2018 Final and will be determined to ensure that momentum continues into the new season.
However, standing in Adelaide’s way is Sydney, a side that have claimed successive premierships and have not lost to the Reds since April 2016.
But after a successful offseason of strengthening the squad, the Reds are primed and ready to improve on last year’s fifth place finish.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Kurz was pleased with the current state of his squad after a long pre-season.
“Our aim was to get to players fit, to create our playing style and also that we reach the cup final,” Kurz told reporters.
“And I think we did that and that’s a big compliment for the boys but we’ll see after a long pre-season.
“I think we’re ready, we feel good, the boys look sharp and very focused, and we’re well prepared for tomorrow.”
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) October 18, 2018
The Sky Blues had a managerial change over the winter with former Sydney player and assistant Steve Corica succeeding Graham Arnold in the hot seat, while witnessing the key departures of Adrian Mierzejewski and Bobo.
But Kurz believes Sydney will remain a very tough side having acquired the likes of Siem de Jong and Adam le Fondre.
“They lost a lot of good players but they signed very good replacements,” he stated.
“(Siem) de Jong and (Adam) le Fondre are very good players, the centre-back, (Jop van der Linden) is a different player too but is very good.
“I think their playing style will be similar with different players, but for me Sydney last season was the best team in both competitions.
“And this season I expect them also near the top position and for us it’s good to see how good we’re against such a team.”
One aspect the German wants to see his side improve on from the 2017/18 campaign is being more clinical in front of goal.
Though, the former Schalke 04 defender added that does not necessarily mean relying solely on the attacking players, but rather a collective, team effort.
“I think I expect more goals from the whole team,” he explained.
“It’s not just the number nine, number ten, or the winger it’s also the centre-backs when we’ve set pieces, they can also score goals as well.
“I think last season we had a lot of good chances and we didn’t score enough goals and that’s one of the things we’ve to do better this year.”
Adelaide United host Sydney FC in Round 1 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Friday, 19 October at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports.