Gertjan Verbeek believes playing a patient game will be crucial to Adelaide United’s success against Western United on Sunday.
The Reds face the Hyundai A-League’s newest side for the first time this season with the Dutchman predicting a real tactical battle.
Verbeek told reporters in his pre-match press conference that his team must not force the issue against a well-drilled outfit under Mark Rudan, or risk being caught in transition.
“They’ve a lot of players behind the ball when they lose the ball,” Verbeek said at Adelaide Airport.
“They go very far back, (and play) a 5-2-3, and even the three strikers are behind the halfway line.
“So we won’t have a lot of space and the opponents get a lot of the ball and they want to try and score from transition, so we have to be aware of that.”
A Besart Berisha brace inspired Western United to a 3-0 win over Central Coast Mariners last weekend.
Meanwhile, Adelaide snapped a four-game losing streak against rivals Melbourne Victory with a 1-0 win.
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) January 23, 2020
Verbeek said that result has brought about a sense of relief in the squad, but stated during their rut they played some decent passages of football.
He added that ultimately it will naturally take time before the team perfects his philosophy and performs on a consistent basis.
“Winning is always giving relief,” he said.
“Losing is not nice, so for every club it’s the same.
“… I also said when we had four losses, big parts of the game we were the better team but we didn’t win.
“And last game (against Melbourne Victory) I think the first-half we were better and second-half we were equal and we made one goal with a clean sheet, so we won.
“But it’s a process. I said already we can beat every team, but we can also lose to every team.”
James Troisi has been declared fit to travel to Melbourne for the clash, however Kristian Opseth is unavailable with an adductor injury.
“Thursday he (James Troisi) had a modified training session,” he explained.
“And yesterday he trained full and today also.”
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.