Stenta: Reds need to get a move on in Liberty A-League campaign

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Adelaide United Liberty A-League coach Adrian Stenta knows his side needs to bank its first win of the season on Sunday, both to build confidence and reward the players for their effort so far.

Stenta’s side started the season promisingly with a four-all draw against Canberra United but has lost its next four games.

A trip to Brisbane to face a Roar side which changed coaches after two rounds is the next task for the Reds and Stenta says making more of its time in possession and being better defensively has been a big focus in the last week.

Speaking to the media on Friday, the Adelaide coach discussed facing a relatively unknown Brisbane side under new manager Alex Smith, the return of striker Chelsie Dawber and whether his side could try to recruit an out of contract Matilda.

Adrian Stenta on what he expects from Brisbane on Sunday, and whether a first win for the season would help his side build some confidence:

“And also reward for effort too. I feel like it can be difficult to keep fronting up and you’re not getting rewarded for your effort, and they are putting in the effort at training and in games.

“We’re expecting a tough game from our opposition. It’s a strange one because they’ve started the year quite well but changed coach a couple of weeks ago, so a little bit of an unknown quantity as well, depending on how they roll out under the new coach.”

Adrian Stenta on his side needing to improve defensively:

“We’re still giving up a lot of chances and giving away some really soft goals so I think it’s more about a collective mindset in terms of the way we defend as a team. And to be honest, we’ve just got to be better. We give the ball away a little bit too much, which puts our backline under pressure. So, we’ve been working a lot on that in the last two or three weeks. We always knew it was going to take a little bit of time to, to get to the level where we felt we could get to, there’s a lot of new players that have come in. Without making excuses, we’ve also had a lot of injury and illness, which we’ve been dealing with so the focus has been on getting everyone on the same page and trying to get everyone healthy together at the same time. I think as the season goes on, we’ll see improvements.”

Adrian Stenta on the return of Chelsie Dawber:

“She’s in pretty good condition. And it’s come straight out of a season playing over in Sweden so we’d expect her to have some sort of role in this weekend’s game.

“It just gives us another quality option across that front three, and, and maybe a player that’s been playing across that that line can slot into midfield for us as well.

“She’s a really positive member around our group, has been in our leadership group in previous seasons as well. And she brings back with her a wealth of experience from her time overseas too. She looks fitter, stronger than she’s ever been before and she’s a really positive person to have around our group.”

Adrian Stenta on how the full home-and-away season gives his side more time to get into finals contention, and how the extended length of the season impacts on preparation:

“When I first started, we were playing maybe a dozen games, I think, so to have 22 games for the Home and Away season gives us time. But in saying that we need to get a move on.

“We’ve always in the Liberty A-League had a fairly short preseason so it’s tough to get a team prepared and on the same page, and at the same level, heading into the first few rounds. We just continue to do what we’ve done in the past and prepare the team in the same way. And that’s each week, just trying to get the win.”

Adrian Stenta on whether the club should pursue off-contract Matilda Alex Chidiac:

“That’s probably a question for the office staff more than myself. If they came to me and spoke to me about Alex, for sure, I’d say we’re interested in bringing her into Adelaide if we possibly can. She is a South Australian girl. That for Alex, she just needs to be in an environment where she’s playing regular minutes and can get herself back into that Matildas squad and playing regularly for her country because she’s certainly good enough to do that.”

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