Adrian Stenta is anticipating a difficult contest against Newcastle Jets at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.
The Reds are looking for their third consecutive victory as they try to consolidate their place in the top-four.
The Jets played its first game in two weeks last weekend, involved in an entertaining 3-3 draw at home to Canberra United.
And unbeaten in its past five matches, Stenta is fully aware of Newcastle’s quality based on previous encounters against them.
“In my time here involved with this team in the league, we’ve always had really close games with Newcastle,” he said in an interview.
“We’re expecting a really tough match, we’re expecting them to come out fit and firing and we’re really looking forward to the challenge.”
Adelaide has prevailed in four of its preceding five games to climb into third position on the table with 15 points after eight games.
Stenta revealed the team morale was high and that competition for places has never been more apparent, making for some difficult selection decisions.
“The team morale is good, it’s always been pretty positive for most of the year,” Stenta explained.
“We’ve got an interesting dynamic at the moment, where we’ve got some players playing well and we’ve got some players really pushing hard at training trying to force their way into the side and they’re training well too.
“So it’s a headache for a coach to have, but it’s a good headache and one that I’m up for the challenge.”
United has also notched back-to-back clean sheets for the first time in over three years, and Stenta is pleased with the defensive resoluteness shown in recent weeks.
“It’s something we’ve worked on all year,” he continued.
“Sometimes it comes off and goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t.
“If you can keep clean sheets, you only need one goal to win a game so it’s something we’ll continue to focus on, our defensive action as a whole team.”