Adelaide United host Central Coast Mariners on Valentine’s Day looking to rekindle their form that saw them record three consecutive wins.
Gertjan Verbeek will be wanting to see a reaction after their 2-1 loss to Brisbane Roar from his players as they look to remain in touch with the top four.
Friday night’s match against the Mariners will be the third meeting between two sides this league season with the pair collecting a victory apiece.
“We want to win tomorrow and we’ll do everything as possible to win that game,” Verbeek said to reporters in his pre-match press conference at Coopers Stadium.
“I think we are one of the only teams in the world that doesn’t have a draw. We have won eight times and we have lost eight times.
“And we have our problems, but I think still that we have a team that can beat Central Coast.
“But they have to believe in it, they have to work hard, and we’ll get the possibilities against Central Coast I’m sure, but that’s not certain you will win.”
The Mariners went down 4-3 in the F3 Derby against Newcastle Jets last round and are currently experiencing a four-match losing streak.
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) February 13, 2020
However, the Reds will have their work cut with Michael Marrone (abdominal), Ryan Strain (hamstring), and Ryan Kitto (quad) joining the injury list.
Verbeek admitted it was frustrating some of his players have succumbed to contact injuries, especially considering little can be done to prevent them.
“The difference between contact injuries and muscle injuries, and we have a lot of contact injuries,” he said.
“And that’s a little bit sad because you can’t do much nothing about that.
“Muscle injuries you can do training loads to less or too much so you can search for the problem and work on it but contact injuries that happens, it’s a contact sport.”
In some positive news, George Blackwood has been named in the extended squad after overcoming a calf issue.
“Of course, it’s always nice when players are coming back,” he said.
“George in the last period has been successful with goals and assists and doing a lot of work for the team.
“In the situation that we are in it’s good for the team.”
Fifteen-year-old Mohamed Toure has again been included following his impressive debut against the Roar, in addition to defenders Yared Abetew and Noah Smith.
Adelaide United host Central Coast Mariners in Round 19 of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season on Friday, 14 February at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACDT. Gates open at 6.00pm. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and the My Football Live App.