Stenta: We have hungry players looking for an opportunity

Adelaide United Liberty A-League Coach Adrian Stenta says he is confident his side can cover the absence of injured duo Chelsie Dawber and Dylan Holmes for Saturday’s clash with top-of-the table Melbourne City.

Dawber (glute) and Holmes (concussion) have been ruled out of the game, which kicks off at Marden Sports Complex at 5pm.
While their experience and attacking threat will be missed, and Stenta admits players of their calibre can’t be replaced, he is excited about the opportunity their absence will create for other players.

Speaking on Friday after his side had finalised its preparations for the game, Stenta also discussed what he has made of Melbourne City so far this season and the potential for another club debutant on Saturday.

Tickets for Saturday’s game are available HERE.

Adrian Stenta on taking on the A-League’s top and highest scoring side Melbourne City on Saturday:

“I think that’s the key, a lot of attacking threats, the highest scoring team in the league. (They scored) five goals the last game that they played so we know that defensively we need to be really strong. But we think that that also the way they play could provide us with some opportunities going forward too. Most games are decided on key main moments and we’ll need to make the most of those if we’re going to get something out of the game.”

Adrian Stenta on whether his side is finding better consistency in games and across games:

“I still think our form is a little bit patchy. We would have liked to have a better account of ourselves on New Year’s Eve up in Newcastle. It’s a couple of weeks in-a-row now where we’ve started quite well and been able to hit the front and then let teams back in so we’re still searching for that consistent performance across 90 minutes.”

Adrian Stenta on going into the game without injured duo Chelsie Dawber and Dylan Holmes:

“Well, you can’t really replace them but what you can do is you can bring in individuals who deserve an opportunity to show what they can do. I’m confident that we still have a really balanced squad to pick from and a strong squad to pick from, in fact it’s still been difficult to select an 11 and then the matchday 16 for this week. We’re not going to be able to replace what Chelsie and Dylan would bring to the table if they were playing but we do have some hungry players who are looking for an opportunity to show what they can do in our team and in this league.”

Adrian Stenta on teenager Sian Dewey being named in the extended squad for the game:

“She has been doing really well and with each week, and each training session, she’s getting stronger. She’s getting used to the tempo, and she’s really progressing well as a player so she’s great to have around the group and she works really hard to try and improve her craft. I don’t think she is far away from pushing for a position in the team and she keeps training hard and working hard. We see her as a real key prospect for the future at our club for a long period of time.”

Adrian Stenta on how close striker Chrissy Panagaris is to breaking back into the team:

“Chrissy has been doing really well, especially in the last couple of weeks and has been unlucky not to make a matchday squad, but she has been competing for positions with some really top quality players as well. She has been another one that’s been progressing really well at training, and she just needs to be patient and wait for an opportunity. Now she’s over the little sort of niggles that she’s had and the injury setbacks, and even some conditioning issues that she had earlier in the season so we think that she’s primed to have a real impact in the second half of the season.”

Adrian Stenta on the forecast warm conditions for Saturday’s game:

“This is something that we’ve been looking forward to, to be honest, because we haven’t had much of a summer here in Adelaide. The warm conditions will suit us well, we’re a fit side. We know this ground really well and we’re looking forward to inviting any opposition here and playing in the conditions at present because we feel confident that we can get the job done.”