Ben Halloran believes Adelaide United were not aggressive enough against the Central Coast Mariners and as a consequence paid the price.
The Reds succumbed to a 2-1 defeat – their first loss in seven league visits to Gosford.
Kye Rowles and Milan Duric put the hosts in a commanding position, although Adelaide did have chances sandwiched in between both of the Mariners’ first-half goals.
Ben Halloran stated his team never really got going despite an improved second 45.
“You could put it down to a few things,” he admitted to Fox Sports after the match.
“We just didn’t really show up today, I think we were second to everything in the first-half.
“We weren’t aggressive enough and Central Coast just outplayed us in the first-half.
“We showed a bit more desperation in the second-half but it was probably a bit too late by then.”
Adelaide came out of the blocks all guns blazing to begin the second stanza after they had a strong talking to from Head Coach, Gertjan Verbeek.
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) December 22, 2019
“We were expecting a stern talking to,” he said.
“But we all knew it ourselves that we needed to do more in the second-half.
“I think we put in a better performance but it still wasn’t enough.”
Indeed, it was Halloran that halved the deficit virtually immediately from the re-start, curling a brilliant strike into the top corner after cutting inside on the edge of the box.
“I just took a touch inside and swung my left boot at,” Halloran said when asked to discuss his absolute screamer.
“It doesn’t happen too often, I was hoping it would start a bit of a revival but they showed a lot of desperation there at the bottom of the table.
“But they’ve showed signs in the last couple of weeks that they don’t necessarily deserve to be there.
“We have to look at our own game, we have to build up more, we have to be better on the ball and try to outplay our opposition as well.”
Adelaide United host Western Sydney Wanderers in Round 12 of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season on Friday, 27 December 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.