Adelaide United midfielder Mirko Boland says he has enjoyed playing in Gertjan Verbeek’s offensive system and believes the team will only improve with each passing game.
The Reds advanced to a fourth FFA Cup semi-final following a 1-0 win over Newcastle Jets at Coopers Stadium on Tuesday night.
Al Hassan Toure’s 42nd minute poacher’s goal was decisive after Jets gloveman Lewis Italiano was sent off 11 minutes into the contest.
Boland said while his side played well in the first-half, they struggled to adequately capitalise on their numerical advantage.
“Every time it’s hard to play against 10 men because normally if you play with 10 you step up more,” he told reporters outside the Adelaide United Media Centre.
“And sometimes I have the experience when you’re playing with one man more maybe you do a step less.
“It’s hard but I think we started really well in the game, we were good in shape especially when you look that our last game was three weeks ago.”
Third successive @FFACup Semi Final… so tasty 🤤 pic.twitter.com/PSBMxZjLEy
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) September 18, 2019
However, the German acknowledged that their second-half performance left a lot to be desired.
“For me the second-half wasn’t really good because we didn’t play it smart in the moment,” he conceded.
“If you play with one man more you’ve to keep the ball more and have to wait for the right moment and let them run.
“But in the end the important thing was the result and that was good.”
The 32-year-old has previously crossed paths with Verbeek during their time in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga, revealing it was always a tough game playing against sides managed by the Dutchman.
Boland was with Eintracht Braunschweig at the time, while Verbeek was at the helm of 1. FC Nürnberg and VfL Bochum.
“I know him from Germany when I played against him,” he said.
“It was every time hard to play against him because he has a different game style.
“It’s a little bit different but we like it. It’s an offensive style but we have to improve on that and it’s a lot different to last year; but it looks good and I think with time we’re getting better and better.”
Now into his second season at the Club, Boland admitted he is more accustomed to his new surroundings, before stating he is looking forward to the start of the campaign.
“I feel much more comfortable this year,” he revealed.
“Also I know what’s happening in the league and also with the climate here, the weather, the different time zones.
Especially when you come from Europe, maybe other players can handle that a little bit better, but last year I also got a long injury and that was a little bit of a hard time.
“And after that I never really came back to the level what I expect from me, what I did at the beginning of the last season.
“So right now I feel pretty good, feel fit and hope I can improve more and more and help the team with my style of football.”