Mauk expecting stronger Victory outfit this season

Stefan Mauk

Stefan Mauk insisted the fact Adelaide United remain unbeaten to begin the new season is a positive and said he is expecting a completely different Melbourne Victory outfit when the Original Rivalry returns on Saturday night.

The Reds have started the season with three consecutive draws and incidentally have never drawn four league games in a row in the Club’s 18-year history.

But Mauk was rather philosophical in his assessment, stating they will only continue improving with more games.

“I think the positive thing is that we haven’t lost,” he told the media at Coopers Stadium.

“It’s a really important thing. You obviously build confidence from not losing games.

“In an ideal situation, we probably have at least one win… We’ve played some really good teams, Perth away and Brisbane away are obviously tough trips and the champions at home.”

The Captain is relishing the prospect of playing in another Original Rivalry this weekend and, as a local boy, needs no explanation about the magnitude of such a clash.

“Growing up in Adelaide that was the game as a kid you always wanted to go to as well because the atmosphere was unbelievable from our fans and a lot of Victorians would travel over,” he said.

“There’s the history and obviously the grand finals as well and us as players know what it means to the fans.

“We obviously want to go out there and put on a good show, so that’s something we’ve done in recent years – we’ve had some really good results against them.”

Adelaide has dominated this fixture in recent times, winning seven of the previous eight meetings – and secured a single-season sweep last year with three triumphs.

However, Mauk is anticipating Victory to be a far cry from the woes they endured in 2020/21 with Tony Popovic now at the helm.

“They’re obviously a different team this year with a new coach and a lot of new players,” he continued.

“… You can’t really look back at last season’s performances or the way they played. This season they’ve played four or five games including the cup. They’re a well organised team, going forward they’ve got class players.

“But it’s important for us that we go out there knowing the occasion and the intensity is going to be up and we have win the fight.

“…We expect Victory to come out firing and we obviously have to match that.”

Match details:
Saturday, 11 December vs Melbourne Victory
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 – Round 4
Kick-off 7.15pm ACDT
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Broadcast: Network 10
Stream: Paramount+