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Stenta frustrated with Reds’ slow start

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Adrian Stenta lamented his side’s slow start as Adelaide United suffered a 3-1 setback against Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Saturday.

The Reds were sloppy to begin the match and eventually found themselves trailing 2-0 before half-time.

Adelaide’s resilience again came to the fore in the second-half and following Chelsie Dawber’s goal totally bossed the contest until City struck against the run of play in the 94th minute.

Stenta was left frustrated by the insipid start, and although lauded their endeavour after the break, he said his side must put together a complete display.

“I thought their fight was good over the 90 (minutes), especially the second 45,” Stenta said in the post-match press conference.

“But I just think we started poorly in the first-half, we gave them too much space and time.

“And put ourselves in situations where we were under pressure a lot because our ball retention wasn’t good enough.
“I’m sitting here feeling really frustrated because I think we were good enough to get something out of that game coming into it.

“But I don’t think we showed our best football particularly early on.

“In saying that, again I’m pleased this team showed a bit of resilience. The challenge for us as a group is to do that from the start.”

Stenta attributed his team’s slow starts this season to a lack of self-confidence.

“I just think it’s a confidence and a belief thing,” he explained.

“I certainly believe in the playing group, I certainly have lots of confidence in them.

“I just think that they need to go out and back themselves to get the job done, because we’ve seen in every game we’ve played – even the 5-1 loss – that we’re good enough to compete in this league, so we just need to do it for 90 minutes.”

The Reds boss confirmed stand-in skipper Emily Condon picked up a knock and was replaced but confirmed she will be back for their next game.

Captain Isabel Hodgson was out for the clash through injury and Stenta was hopeful she will be back for the next game.

He also discussed the signing of Dylan Holmes who is due to join the team next week once she finishes her seven days of quarantine.

Stenta added it will certainly provide him with a few selection headaches in midfield.

“I think it’s a massive in,” he said

“I’m really looking forward to Dylan joining our group next week.

“She’s got obviously great skills as a footballer, but what she brings in that confidence, in that belief, in that leadership aspect especially after the experiences that she’s had this past season.

“I think it’s going to be really valuable, and it gives me a bit of a headache in terms of selection in the midfield there which is what I like as a coach.”

Stenta revealed what the plan will be for his squad with their upcoming match not occurring until New Year’s Day against Perth Glory as part of a double header at Coopers Stadium.

“We’ll probably still do a decent number of sessions and try and play some sort of game,” he said.

“And then I think it’s wise to give them some time off over Christmas and then we’ll set our sights on Perth for New Year’s Day.”  

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