Stenta disappointed at defensive ‘sloppiness’

Adelaide United Liberty A-League coach Adrian Stenta has blamed sloppiness on the ball and defensively, and hesitancy in front of goal for his side’s loss to Western United on Saturday evening.

The Reds went down 3-1 at Marden Sports Complex in wet conditions, to remain winless so far this season.

After conceding a goal on the stroke of half time and falling two-nil behind, Stenta’s side fought back with a goal to Chelsie Dawber, only to concede again in stoppage time.

While the result was disappointing, there were some positive signs including performances from debutant Miley Grigg and the experienced Emily Condon.

Speaking after the game, Stenta was pleased with the response from his side after it trailed two-nil, but said the team needed to play with that same energy from the start of the game.

Adrian Stenta on his thoughts around the way the game played out:

“I think for large parts of the game, it was quite an even contest. Maybe that was because of the conditions that we had to play in as well. I was largely happy with the majority of the first half actually, I thought we played quite well. But to switch off from a throw-in and concede in the way we did so close to halftime, hurt us, and it probably changed the game a little bit.

“Then I think we conceded a couple of goals in the second half from some sloppiness, both with the ball turning it over, and then defensively as well. I guess a little bit more of the same from what we’ve seen in in some of our previous games.”

Adrian Stenta on the difficulty of trying to score against Western:

“I thought they defend well. It was always going to be difficult to break them down and create those chances. I feel like we maybe just were a little bit hesitant in front of goals and just dwelled on the ball a little bit too much. I was pleased that we were able to get into so many good positions and put them under pressure and create those opportunities. We just need to be a bit more clinical and play with a bit more conviction once we get in front of goals.”

Adrian Stenta on the performance of debutant Miley Grigg and whether he expects her to get more game time going forward:

“That’ll be up to Miley and to all the players. How much they play and the role they play within the team will be up to them and how they’ve trained. But I thought for a 15 year old to come on and play her first game in the elite women’s competition, I thought she held her own and I’m really proud of her performance.

Adrian Stenta on seeing the way his side fought back after going two-nil down:

“To be honest, I’d rather that be the way that we play and approach before we go two goals down. I thought we started the second half a little bit cold and took a while to get into it. We got forced quite deep and gave them a lot of the ball. So whilst it is pleasing that there was a response, that’s the kind of response we need when the game is there for the taking at nil-nil rather than two-nil down.”

Adrian Stenta on Emily Condon’s performance, coming on in the second half in a more advanced role:

“We were trying to get Emily Condon on the park as much as we possibly can. It’s just about her body and managing that and what we’re able to get into it from a physical point of view, but you can see her quality when she is on the pitch. She’s a player we’d like to get involved as much as we possibly can, wherever we can.”

Adrian Stenta on the absence of goalkeeper Annalee Grove

“She got COVID a couple of days ago so we’re still a little bit unwell and just worried about her spreading that through the team. But we’ve got confidence in all our goalkeepers and I thought, once again, you know, Claudia stepped in and did a serviceable job for us today. It’s good to have competition for spots in that area as well.”

Adrian Stenta on facing top of the table Wellington Phoenix next week:

“To be fair, I don’t think it matters who we’re playing next week. We just need to focus on ourselves, cutting out the mistakes and just being better in what we do and making sure we make the most of the chances that are provided. So I’m glad to be taking on an opposition that’s in-form because we’re going to give it a red hot crack.”