Reds prepared for do-or-die final with Phoenix

Adelaide United FC Head Coach Rini Coolen is planning for tomorrow night’s knockout encounter against the Wellington Phoenix at Hindmarsh Stadium to be just the beginning of the Reds’ finals campaign.

Adelaide United FC Head Coach Rini Coolen is planning for tomorrow night-s knockout encounter against the Wellington Phoenix at Hindmarsh Stadium to be just the beginning of the Reds- finals campaign.

The Reds and Phoenix will meet for the second time in three weeks as the Hyundai A-League season enters its cut throat stage, with the top six to be reduced to four at the end of the finals series- opening weekend.

United lost to the Phoenix at home for the first time back on February 5, the defeat giving Coolen a clear signal that nothing less than the Reds- best will be enough to beat a Wellington side that has won four of its past six games.

However Coolen is confident of the Reds turning the tables on the Phoenix, especially as the home side has had a full week to prepare, in contrast to the Reds fronting up for a third game in eight days the last time the teams met.

“They (Wellington) are really good in transitions, they have a couple of players who can make the difference and they have showed they are a strong team,” Coolen said.

“They deserved the win last time…we created a lot of chances but we weren-t fresh enough to play against them). We are much fresher now and we need to be focused, it will be a tough game and it-s a knockout so we have to go for the win,” Coolen said.

Heading into the club-s biggest game of the season to date and a Hyundai A-League record 12th final, Coolen says the club has done its homework on the Phoenix but the United boss says it is more important that the Reds concentrate on executing their own game plan and sticking to what has got them to this point.

“It-s more important for us what we do in our system, how we prefer to play and we will pay more attention on that,” Coolen said.

“My squad is ready for playing more than just one game. Everybody has got fitter and fitter, so we are prepared and we have to win tomorrow.”

Despite the unwanted distraction surrounding midfielder Paul Reid heading into the match, Coolen is delighted by the intensity and focus his players have shown on at training in the build up to the elimination final, United-s squad bolstered by the news striker Sergio van Dijk, Cassio and Andy Slory are all fit and ready to go.

“We know he can-t play 90 minutes but he can play a longer period (than last week) so that-s fantastic, his injury is not a problem,” Coolen said of Slory, after the Dutch winger left the field in the first half of last Friday-s win over Melbourne Victory.

“Cassio is good and Sergio (van Dijk), we knew there would be no problem if we just give him a coupe of days off, so they are 100 per cent fit and available.”

If the Reds get past the Phoenix, they will host either Gold Coast United or Melbourne Victory in an elimination final next weekend, while a loss would signal the end to the club-s championship hopes, but that is a thought Coolen and his charges are not contemplating.

Kick-Off is at 7.30pm (ACDT) and tickets are available through Ticketek (call 132 849, online at www.ticketek.com.au). Gates open at 6.00pm.

Hyundai A-League 2010/11 Final Series – Week 1 (Elimination Final)
Adelaide United FC v Wellington Phoenix

Friday 18 February 2011, Hindmarsh Stadium
Kick-Off: 7.30pm ACDT (8.00pm AEDT)
Referee: Jarred Gillett

Tickets: Available through Ticketek (call 132 849, online at www.ticketek.com.au)
TV: Live and exclusive on FOX Sports 1
Radio: 891 ABC Adelaide, ABC Digital and online at abc.net.au/adelaide

Adelaide United: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 6.CASSIO, 7.Lucas PANTELIS, 8.Adam HUGHES, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10.Marcos FLORES, 11.Andy SLORY, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Cameron WATSON, 16.Dario BODRUSIC, 17.Iain RAMSAY, 19.Mathew LECKIE, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 21.Francisco USUCAR

In: CASSIO (returns from injury), Sergio VAN DIJK (returns from injury)
Out: Paul REID (omitted)
Unavailable: Daniel MULLEN (knee – season), Joe COSTA (knee – season), Joe KEENAN (leg – season), Fabian BARBIERO (ankle – season)

Wellington Phoenix: 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3.Tony LOCHHEAD, 4.Nick WARD, 6.Tim BROWN, 8.Paul IFILL, 9.Chris GREENACRE, 11.DANIEL, 13.Troy HEARFIELD, 15.Jade NORTH, 17.Vince LIA, 18.Ben SIGMUND, 19.Danny VUKOVIC, 20.Reece CROWTHER, 21.Marco ROJAS, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Dylan MACALLISTER

In: Paul IFILL (returning from injury), Vince LIA (returning from injury), Andrew DURANTE (returning from suspension)
Out: James MUSA (omitted), Mirjan PAVLOVIC (omitted)
Unavailable: Leo BERTOS (groin – season), Mark PASTON (leg – season), Oscar Roberto Cornejo (groin – 3 weeks)

Adelaide United vs. Wellington Phoenix – Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record
Played 12 – 5 wins, 4 draws, 3 losses

5-Feb-2011… L 0-1… 2010/11 Wk 26 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
5-Dec-2010… L 1-2… 2010/11 Wk 17 (AMI Stadium, Christchurch)
22-Oct-2010… W 3-0… 2010/11 Wk 11 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
30-Jan-2010… L 0-1… 2009/10 Rd 25 (AMI Stadium, Christchurch)
18-Dec-2009… D 1-1… 2009/10 Rd 20 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
4-Sep-2009… D 1-1… 2009/10 Rd 5 (Westpac Stadium)
18-Jan-2009… D 1-1… 2008/09 Rd 20 (Westpac Stadium)
5-Dec-2008… W 6-1… 2008/09 Rd 14 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
30-Aug-2008… W 3-0… 2008/09 Rd 3 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
30-Nov-2007… W 2-1… 2007/08 Rd 15 (Westpac Stadium)
28-Oct-2007… W 4-1… 2007/08 Rd 10 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
22-Sep-2007… D 2-2… 2007/08 Rd 5 (Westpac Stadium)

At Hindmarsh Stadium
Played 6; Adelaide United 4, Wellington Phoenix 1, Draws 1

Last time they met in the Hyundai A-League
5-Feb-2011 Week 26, Hyundai A-League 2010/11 Season at Hindmarsh Stadium
Adelaide United 0
Wellington Phoenix 1 (Greenacre 34-)

Adelaide United last three results
Wk 27. 11-2-2011… W 2-1… vs. Melbourne Victory (Adelaide Oval)
Wk 26. 5-2-2011… L 0-1… vs. Wellington Phoenix (Hindmarsh Stadium)
MW. 2-2-2011… D 0-0… vs. Gold Coast United (Skilled Park)