Adrian Stenta believes Adelaide United’s 3-0 win against Western Sydney Wanderers was its most complete performance to date this season.
The Reds controlled the majority of the contest, dominating possession and peppered the Wanderers goal with 27 shots.
Adelaide has now won four of its last five matches to move to 15 points from eight games this season and provisionally lie equal second on the table.
Stenta admitted he could find little fault with the display, as Adelaide recorded its biggest away triumph in more than six years.
“I think it was a fantastic performance and probably the closest we’ve got to playing a full 90 minutes all year, so very happy,” Stenta said in a post-match interview.
“We really had a focus on trying to keep the ball more and I think we did that well.
“Especially because today was a tough game because our opposition were quite direct in the way they played.
“So sometimes you can fall into the trap of playing the same style.
“But I thought our defending was strong, our build-up play was good and we were able to be a bit more clinical in front of goals.”
Indeed, Chelsie Dawber was back to her lethal best in attack, scoring a clinically taken brace to move to six goals for the season.
“Chelsie’s a threat in front of goal always,” he said, about the 22-year-old who climbed into second spot in the Golden Boot race.
“She knows how to find good positions and she knows how to finish too.
“So again, really pleased for Chelsie and it’s great that she’s able to get reward for her effort, and I think they were good team goals too.
“So to the players that helped out with that, I think they deserve some credit too.”
The Reds also recorded back-to-back clean sheets and a first road clean sheet for the first time since November 2018.
Annie Grove was a huge factor in that, making a terrific first-half save in arguably her most impressive game for the Club since her arrival ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.
“I thought she was really good today,” he said.
“She made a crucial save and was really comfortable with everything that she did, and was good with her feet as well.
“So I’m really proud of the way Annie’s coming along. We know what she can do and that’s why we’re keen to invest in such a quality young goalkeeper.”
Nanako Sasaki was also influential, registering two tackles and four interceptions as well as winning eight duels and four fouls.
“Nano’s a really quality player,” he added.
“We know what she can do with the ball, and I thought impressively tonight she was quite strong defensively.
“Another player I’m really glad for because she’s waited a long time for her chance and she’s taking it.”
Adelaide will aim to keep the momentum going at Coopers Stadium against Newcastle Jets on Friday as part of an exciting double header.
“We’ll see how everyone pulls up after today’s game and see who’s available and who’s not,” he said.
“And then we’ll take a good look at Newcastle and we’ll make our plans going into that game and we’re really, really pumped and excited that it’s another double header at Coopers Stadium.”