Kusini Yengi believes scoring early goals and taking their chances has led to an upturn in fortunes in recent weeks for Adelaide United Youth.
The Young Reds have won their last two matches by a scoreline of 3-0 and are now five games unbeaten heading into a huge clash with Croydon Kings at Polonia Reserve on Saturday.
A mere goal separates the two sides on the table with the Kings (seventh) and United Youth (eighth) both accruing 22 points from 16 games.
A win would maintain the pressure on sixth-placed MetroStars.
“Croydon is a good team and I reckon it’ll be a tough game,” Yengi explained.
“We’re just going to have to work extremely hard and try and put the game to bed early.”
As intimated, Adelaide recorded a comfortable victory against Para Hills Knights last round, with Yengi stating they were able to control the game after taking the lead through Alhassan Toure.
“It was a good performance from the boys,” Yengi said.
“We kind of got an early goal which helped us moving forward and took a bit of the pressure off.
“So we were able to keep the ball and pass the ball around a bit more, so that early goal helped us a lot.
“And then when we got the second one the intensity kind of dropped off and we just kept the ball and kept the other team chasing.”
Yengi added that scoring early goals has been key to their recent success.
“We’ve been putting the games to bed, especially in the last two (games),” he believed.
“Getting that early goal and getting that second goal to give us a bit of reassurance, so then later on in the game we’re not fighting for that last-minute clearance or stuff like that. We’re just playing a lot more attacking football.”
The striker has also been a big contributor in the team’s resurgence and is beginning to find rhythm again after returning from a 10-month injury lay-off with osteitis pubis. Yengi has netted three goals in his last three matches, which has coincided with a call-up to train with the senior side.
“My confidence is high at the moment,” he said.
“Coming back from a long-term injury I was pretty happy to get a couple of goals in the back of the net.
“And I think it’s given me a chance to now train with the first-team, so that’s good and I just need to keep scoring goals.”
Adelaide United Youth face Croydon Kings in Round 17 of the National Premier League 2019 season on Saturday, 13 July at Polonia Reserve. Kick-off is at 3.00pm. Reserves kick-off at 12.45pm.