Adelaide United must be mindful of Western Sydney Wanderers’ improved form under their new interim boss, according to Paul Izzo.
Western Sydney appointed Jean-Paul de Marigny’s as caretaker in late January and since his appointment, the Wanderers have collected four points from two games.
Izzo highlighted how a win would continue to consolidate their place in the top six and keeping alive their top two aspirations.
“It’s going to be a tough game obviously,” Izzo said in a press conference after training.
“We know what’s on the line for us and another win gets us to the top half and kind of want to build that gap away from the bottom half as well.”
But the goalkeeper knows securing the three points will not be easy against a team that has renewed optimism following a change in manager, which has since yielded improved performances.
“It’s a weird one because you’ve got players that might not have been in the squad for so many rounds,” he said.
“Then all of a sudden, new coach and everyone is buzzing again and giving one hundred and ten percent.
“So it’s weird because being in this situation myself a lot of things change, a lot of people get motivated again and it’s almost like you’re playing a new squad with the amount of belief they have again and we have to be wary of that.
“And look to try to the control the game as much as we can to kill their buzz, but at the same time we’re prepared for a lot.”
Adelaide made it four wins from their last five games after a 2-0 win over Central Coast Mariners last weekend.
However, it was only the Reds’ third clean sheet of the season, something Izzo said is an area the team is continuing to work on.
“The goal is every week is you don’t want to concede,” he explained.
“I think it’s the goal for me and the back four as well.
“It’s the same as defenders and goalkeepers pride yourself on.
“Obviously we have been conceding a few too many goals so far this year. We are looking to fix it every day when we are training and working on our shape and how we build up.
“Because I think we are always scoring goals, so the less we concede obviously the more chance we have of winning.”
He added that there was never one factor behind the concession of goals but felt they just need to be smarter at managing key moments.
“You can put it down to a lot of things,” he said.
“It comes down to just the focus and realising we have got a young squad as well, so learning when to take the sting out of the game – relax and keep the ball.
“Especially away from home sometimes a point is like a win especially when you’re on the back foot, so I think just understanding those moments and working on our defensive structure.”
Adelaide United face Western Sydney Wanderers in Round 20 of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season on Friday, 21 February at Bankwest Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACDT. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and the My Football Live App.