Reds out to break ‘away’ shackles in Wellington


Interim Coach Michael Valkanis wants this weekend’s trip to New Zealand to be the springboard that launches his team’s resurgence away from home as the Reds go in search of a valuable three points.

Interim Adelaide United FC Coach Michael Valkanis wants this weekend-s trip to New Zealand to be the springboard that launches his team-s resurgence away from home as the Reds go in search of a valuable three points against the Wellington Phoenix on Sunday at Westpac Stadium.

Valkanis has eyed off one of the Hyundai A-League-s toughest away assignments for the Reds to break the shackles of six away games without a win and affirm their spot in the top four. A win in Wellington could even see the Reds climb to third if Melbourne Victory does not beat the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Saturday.

As aware as Valkanis and the Reds- playing squad are of results and performances on the road needing to pick up, it is not something the former United defender has spoken to the players a lot about throughout the week.

“Not too much. We don-t want to dwell on making it a psychological problem,” Valkanis said on mentioning the Reds- away form.

“It-s certainly something at the coaching staff level we have talked about and looking at maybe trying to change a few things around, maybe even in the warm up before the game.”

“We need the three points and in terms of playing finals, you might have to play away from home, so it-s best we get started this week.”

Despite Wellington currently sitting at the foot of the ladder, claiming the Phoenix-s scalp on their own patch would certainly go a long way to dismissing any away game gremlins for the Reds.

The Phoenix have enjoyed one of the most formidable home records in the league over time and while they were unsuccessful in their past two outings, which incidentally were both on Australian soil, they will be determined to put their quest for a finals berth back on track.

Young Phoenix livewire Corey Gameiro showed in just his one game that he can cause headaches for opposition defences. Add to that the skilful Paul Ifill and the return from suspension of sharp shooter Jeremy Brockie, who has scored 11 goals this season, and Valkanis knows Wellington have the ammunition to seriously threaten.

“It-s going to be a hard game because Wellington have lost their last few games and they-re looking at trying to make finals and this is probably their last ditch attempt, so they-ve got a lot to play for but so have we,” Valkanis said.

“It-s a very important game for us in terms of getting close to securing a top four position.”

The Reds have travelled over with a squad of 16 that includes exciting youngster Awer Mabil, who has again been called up from the Reds- Youth team. Fellow winger Evan Kostopoulos has also been recalled while Cassio returns from suspension and is in line to make his 150th appearance for the club.

Valkanis is set to decide on the final make up of his starting eleven after their training session in Wellington tomorrow.

In the two times the teams have met this season, the Reds have run out 3-1 winners. Both of those games were played at Hindmarsh Stadium but this time the Reds venture to the home of the Phoenix, a challenge that is sure to require a committed and intense performance for the whole 90 minutes if they are to be in front at the end again.

Kick-Off is at 2.00pm ACDT.

Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Season – Week 22

Sunday 24 February 2013, Westpac Stadium
Kick-Off: 2.00pm ACDT
Referee: Tim McGilchrist

TV: LIVE & Exclusive on Fox Sports 1
Radio: Grandstand Digital and online
Twitter: twitter.com/adelutd_fc (hash tag #NIXvREDS)

Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 4.Jon McKain, 6.Cassio, 8.Marcelo Carrusca, 10.Dario Vidosic, 12.Antony Golec, 14.Cameron Watson, 17.Iain Ramsay, 18.Fabian Barbiero, 20.Paul Izzo (gk), 21.Jeronimo Neumann, 23.Evan Kostopoulos, 24.Awer Mabil, 25.Tomi Juric
*One to be omitted

In: Cassio (returns from suspension), Evan Kostopoulos (returns from injury), Awer Mabil (promoted from NYL)
Out: Iain Fyfe (suspended – 1 match), Daniel Bowles (omitted)
Unavailable: Bruce Djite (ankle – 1-2 weeks), Fabio Ferreira (groin – 3 weeks)

Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Mark Paston (gk), 2.Manny Muscat, 3.Tony Lochhead; 4.Isaka Cernak, 7.Leo Bertos, 8.Paul Ifill, 9.Benjamin Totori, 10.Stein Huysegems, 11.Jeremy Brockie, 12.Tyler Boyd, 16.Louis Fenton, 17.Vince Lia, 18.Ben Sigmund, 20.Glen Moss (gk), 21.Dani Sanchez, 22.Andrew Durante (c), 23.Corey Gameiro
*Two to be omitted

In: Benjamin Totori (promoted), Jeremy Brockie (returns from suspension)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Nil

Adelaide United vs. Wellington Phoenix – Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record
Played 18 – 9 wins, 5 draws, 4 losses

At Westpac Stadium
Played 4; Adelaide United 1, Wellington Phoenix 0, Draws 3

Last time they met in the Hyundai A-League
16-Dec-2012 Week 11, Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Season at Hindmarsh Stadium
Adelaide United FC 3 (Carrusca 20-/25-, Ferreira 45+2-)
Wellington Phoenix 1 (Sanchez 81-)