Mauk: We’re extremely confident

Adelaide United midfielder, Stefan Mauk, says the Reds are feeling ‘extremely confident‘ after their 4-2 win over Perth Glory on Sunday afternoon. 

Adelaide have won the last three games, which is their longest winning streak for the 2023/24 season. 

Speaking to the media at Coopers Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, Mauk discussed the team’s morale heading into Friday night’s game against Macarthur FC, his relationship with Nestory Irankunda and Adelaide’s Finals hopes. 

Stefan Mauk on United’s form: 

“I think, probably inside the four walls at the training ground, we felt like we were on the right path, but the results weren’t coming. But also, you know, just because you give 100% for two or three games, you probably don’t deserve to win straight away. And now in the last three games, I think the work that we did in January and February, we’re getting rewarded for it. So we’ve got four games to go. And, we’re extremely confident no matter who we come up against that we’ll be able to match them and win games.”

Stefan Mauk on United’s win against Perth Glory:

“It was a very, very hot game. As soon as you go out for the warm up, you’re thinking it’s going to be tough, and we need to make sure we start well, and I actually thought we did start okay. Then we conceded the first goal, which was disappointing. And then you conceded the second goal and you think “this is pretty horrible”.” 

But we turned it around. And it probably shows the difference in the group. Maybe six, seven weeks ago, you lose that three or four nil, and instead, we come back to win 4-2. And it gives us more belief within ourselves that we’re on the right track. And we just need to keep on improving.”

Stefan Mauk on what has changed in the last few weeks: 

“I think just the message from Carl and the players themselves has been taken a little bit more on board that. We need to be more of a team, we need to be collectively putting in 100%. And that, the effort, is the bare minimum, to be honest at this level.” 

“We’ve got good players, we’ve got players that can make the difference in Nestor and Zach Ibusuki and Isa. We just needed to get the other stuff right. And now I think we’ve probably got the starting XI, consistently for the last three weeks has been the same, which is always good as well. And then the players coming off the bench know exactly what they need to do. So it’s not anything too crazy. But I think when you get everyone playing for each other, it makes a big difference.”

Stefan Mauk on his relationship with Nestory Irankunda: 

“I was captain when he first came through. So I tried to help him out as much as possible. Been away for a couple of years and come back. And yeah he probably liked a familiar face coming back and I’m playing on the right side, they’re similar and close to him. So I guess we can connect quite well. 

I think he’s sometimes misunderstood. And sometimes his emotions get the better of him. But we have to remember he’s a young kid that has had the weight of Australian football on his shoulders for probably the last two or three years. And he’s going to have ups and downs, but he’s coming good at the right time of the season.”

Stefan Mauk on Adelaide’s finals hopes: 

“We are talking about one game at a time. But I think it’d be wrong to say that players don’t look at the ladder. Of course, you’re always looking at the ladder, whether it’s round one or round 24. But we know it’s actually in our control. If we win all four games, we’ll make the finals 100%. Potentially, we can draw one of those, maybe get to 38 points, but then you’re really relying on other teams not picking up a lot of points. Our focus is Macarthur, Friday night – win that, and then we focus on the Tuesday game against Western United.”