After a four-month hiatus Hyundai A-League action resumes for these two teams on Sunday night as Adelaide United tackle Brisbane Roar on the Gold Coast.
The coronavirus crisis brought an abrupt halt to the season in mid-March and the effects were consequential.
Both clubs were not immune from the pandemic with each side seeing their head coaches vacate their roles to return to Europe due to the uncertainty around the COVID-19 outbreak.
Gertjan Verbeek and Robbie Fowler were replaced by Carl Veart and Warren Moon respectively during the break.
Reds interim boss, Veart, said the mood around the dressing room was upbeat this week, knowing the wait was almost over.
“You could notice the difference this week in training,” Veart told reporters at Coopers Stadium.
“The excitement, as you say, it’s been a long time and the boys are just happy to get back out there and playing again.”
The squad is in.
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) July 18, 2020
Adelaide’s previous meeting against the Roar saw Ben Halloran’s opener cancelled out as the Reds succumbed to a 2-1 defeat. Since that clash in February, United have won just once before suffering a four-match losing streak.
Veart confirmed a total of 22 players will be part of the New South Wales based hub for the remainder of the season.
“We’ve got 22 players going into the hub,” Veart revealed.
“So at this stage everyone is fit other than James (Troisi) (knee). Al Hassan (Toure) has had a small injury but he’s fine, he’ll play on Sunday night.
“He had that long injury with the foot so we’ve just been mindful of that, that we didn’t want to push him too hard coming back in these four weeks.
“So it’s not an injury, we’ve just been monitoring him that’s all.”
United, currently seventh on the table, have five games to try and secure a finals appearance.
Veart explained what he wants to see from his side after four weeks implementing his ideas in training and said their objective was to finish as high as possible on the ladder.
“We want to see some good discipline and make sure our defensive structure is good,” he said.
“And we want to be aggressive and take the game on.
“… Our goal is to make the finals and anything below that we’ll be disappointed with.
“We’ve got a good enough squad to make the finals and go all the way.”
Adelaide United face Brisbane Roar in Round 29 of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season on Sunday 19 July at CBUS Super Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACST. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and the MyFootball Live App.