Marco Kurz was proud of his side’s reaction after the break in Adelaide United’s 2-2 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers on Boxing Day.
Nikola Mileusnić netted a second-half brace to extinguish the Wanderers’ opener, before Bruce Kamau levelled proceedings a minute after Jordan Elsey was dismissed.
Kurz believed a draw was probably a fair reflection of the game, despite being the stronger of the two sides with 10 men.
“It was up and down,” Kurz told reporters in the post-match press conference.
“I think in the first 25 minutes we were a little bit too slow.
“I don’t know why, maybe the reason is because we said to stay compact and wait for the right moment.
“After the (drinks) break it was much better, the penalty was unlucky close to half-time, but the reaction after half-time was great.
“And also after the yellow/red card I had the feeling that we had the better moments in the game and we were closer.
“In the end I think a draw was fair.”
Kurz also praised Mileusnić after his impressive two-goal performance and believes that will give him a lot of confidence moving forward.
“Every goal for an offensive player helps gives them confidence,” he continued.
“After the last game he was sometimes a little bit unlucky, but he came after a long injury back.
“… For us he’s a very important player because he’s so fast and he’s a good player for a counter-attack.
“And today I’m happy because in the past he’s not really a goal-scorer, he prepares more goals than he scores.
“But it’s good for him he played 90 minutes without any problems and it was a good game for Niko and also from us.”
The German admitted he could not fault his players’ endeavour to try for all three points despite the numerical disadvantage.
“I’m very proud of the team,” he said.
“They always fight in the right direction and always fight for a win.
“When we start a game we want to win and don’t play for a draw.
“I’m happy with the attitude and the performance.”
Adelaide United face Newcastle Jets in Round 10 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Sunday, 30 December at McDonald Jones Stadium. Kick-off is at 6.30pm ACDT. Live on Fox Sports, and streamed on the My Football Live App.