Adelaide United take on Perth Glory on Thursday night desperate for three points to maintain hopes for a finals appearance.
Adelaide have made an unbeaten start to life under interim boss Carl Veart, collecting a win and draw against Brisbane Roar and Wellington Phoenix respectively.
Perth defeated Central Coast Mariners before succumbing to a 2-1 loss to the Phoenix last time out and lie in fifth spot, three points clear of Adelaide with an extra game up their sleeve.
The Reds remain in sixth position – one point clear of seventh-ranked Western United – but with only three matches left and having played two games more than the Victorians, their finals fate could be taken out of their hands.
Speaking to reporters in the pre-match press conference via Zoom, Veart discussed the team were well-aware of their situation ahead of the restart and highlighted the enormity of tomorrow’s match.
“We knew coming in that we had the five top teams and we’re not worried about what any of the other teams are doing,” he explained.
“It was important that we got off to a good start against Brisbane and then build from that.
“We knew that out of the five games we have to win three to four of those games.
“We can’t afford to have another slip up. We have to win tomorrow night to give ourselves the best chance.
“We don’t want to rely on other teams, we just want to rely on ourselves.”
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) July 29, 2020
Veart is looking to see further progress from his players against the Glory following two solid outings since being at the helm.
“We’ve said from the start we want to build on each game and I think we made good improvements in the Wellington game,” he said.
“And we’re hoping to make more improvements with our fitness and the way we want to play into the Perth game.”
However, Perth will pose another tough test, with Veart claiming it will take a disciplined, patient performance to overcome Tony Popovic’s side.
“We definitely have a good game plan that we believe in against Perth,” he continued.
“We just have to be disciplined enough through the game and stay in the game and take our opportunities when they come.
“We’ll definitely get our opportunities with the quality of attacking players that we’ve got.
“Kristian has scored in the last two games and Riley is getting better every game. When we look at his numbers, they’re improving every game so we’re expecting a big game from Riley tomorrow night.”
The Reds also have no fresh injury concerns aside from Al Hassan Toure (hamstring).
Though in some positive news, Veart revealed the 20-year-old forward will be available for next week’s encounter with Sydney FC.
Adelaide United host Perth Glory in the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season on Thursday, 30 July at Bankwest Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACST. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and the MyFootball Live App.