Michael Jakobsen says claiming the three points against the Central Coast Mariners on Friday night is crucial for their top four aspirations.
The Reds’ three-match winning streak ended last weekend following a 2-1 away loss to Brisbane Roar and the Dane intimated another losing run would be unacceptable.
Prior to the three-game stretch, United had lost four in a row and the Dane was determined to avoid a repeat of that.
“To bounce back straight away that would be the ideal situation,” he explained after training at a press conference.
“Especially when we’re still in for the top four, we need to chase that and we gave ourselves a really good boost with three wins in a row so we got close to them (the top four teams) again.
“That’s where we want to be, so we need to win this game and that has to be the main focus.
“I don’t care if it’s going to be ugly, we need to win our battles, our second balls and get the three points, so we need to be switched on from the first minute.”
Adelaide currently lie equal fourth on the table, but trail Wellington Phoenix on goal difference are sit two points clear of sixth-ranked Brisbane Roar.
We'll be the third wheel. 🤷♂️
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) February 10, 2020
Central Coast have lost their previous four matches, but the Reds Captain warned his side cannot afford to become complacent.
“I think they’re starting to play better and better,” he said.
“And they’re starting to score more goals. It’s a difficult side to play against, they like to have possession as well.
“So if we give the initiative to them they have some good players as well, so we need to be alert, but first of all we need to put in the effort.”
The 34-year-old defender also admitted he was impressed with 15-year-old Mohamed Toure’s impressive debut against the Roar last round.
He praised Toure’s impact off the bench and said his fearless approach is very similar to his older brother, Al Hassan – who burst onto the scene at the start of the season.
“He did fantastic for a young kid coming in like that,” Jakobsen continued.
“He reminds me a lot of his brother when he started, come in and ‘okay I’m here, see what I can do’ – I like that mindset.
“But as I said before he’s really young, you can see at training sometimes there are still things he needs to work on, which is quite normal when you’re that young.
“I like to see him around and it’s always nice when you have someone to come in with a bit of x-factor.
“So I don’t know if he is going to be in the squad this week but on the performance of what he did I think he’ll deserve to be in again.”
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.