Stenta: We know how to prepare to play against Sydney

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Adelaide United Liberty A-League coach Adrian Stenta is expecting a big crowd for his side’s first game at Marden Sports Complex for the season, with Matildas’ attacker Courtney Vine’s return from injury for Sydney FC to provide a drawcard.

Vine has yet to feature for the Sky Blues this season after suffering a hamstring injury on national duty and will be joined in the Sydney line-up by former Red Fiona Worts for Sunday’s Round 5 game.

Sydney has only played two A-League matches this season having competed in the AFC Women’s Club Championship in Uzbekistan but Stenta says he has enough information to get a read on how to prepare for the match.

Speaking after training on Friday, the Adelaide coach was full of praise for midfielder Nanako Sasaki after her impressive return from injury in last week’s loss to Perth, and he was excited to be playing at Marden, where his side has been training in recent weeks.

Adrian Stenta on the mood at training this week:

“It’s been a really positive week. Obviously, the long trip back from Perth, but plenty of time to rest and recover. And the girls have trained really well this week so looking forward to getting on the Park on Sunday and showing what we can do.

“The fact that we played Saturday, and we’ve got a little bit of extra time going into a Sunday game. Recovery from that game was fine. And the level of training has been good.”

Adrian Stenta on the disappointing loss to the unbeaten Perth Glory last week:

“We took a lot of confidence out of that performance. We’re disappointed that we didn’t get anything out of the game, because we feel like we did enough to at least get something out of it. But now it’s about building on that. We can’t rest on that. And we’ve got to build on that and continue to look for and chase our first win of the season. I think this weekend’s game gives us a great opportunity to do that.”

Adrian Stenta on the incredible return from injury last week of midfielder Nanako Sasaki:

“We know her quality. We know what she can do. We know what she provides for our side as well. So having her miss the first three weeks was disappointing for us and for her but we’re really confident now that she’s turned the corner physically and we’ll be able to play some good meaningful games for us for the remainder of the season.”

Adrian Stenta on getting a read on Sydney despite them only playing two matches this season due to commitments in Asia:

“The good thing about Sydney is they’re really well coached by Ante (Juric) and they don’t really change the way they do things a lot. He’s very consistent in his approach. They’ve been probably the most consistent side over the last few years so we know that it’s going to be a really challenging game for us. Without reading too much into their start to the A-League because they’ve only had a couple of games, we feel like we know how to prepare to play against Sydney, and will be up for the challenge that they’re going to provide for us.”

Adrian Stenta on Zoe Tolland missing the game with a quad injury:

“It’s been the story of our season, we’ve just been struggling to get the squad healthy as a whole and every week we feel like there are more players returning and then other players dropping out with injuries. So, we’re just trying to get our best players on the park more consistently and soon as we get healthy, and we’re able to do that I think you’ll see that the performances will continue to improve as the season goes on.

Adrian Stenta on attacker Emilia Murray having ankle surgery during the week:

“The surgery just happened. She’s in good spirits, I had some contact with her the other day. And so now, it’s just about rehabbing – recovering and rehabbing – and getting hopefully ready to play a part for us in the second part of the year. But it’s really disappointing for her and for the team because you want your best young players out there, showing what they can do in this league. We’ll miss Millsy a little bit but we feel like we’ve got other players that can step up and share the load and play the role that she would play for us.”

Adrian Stenta on whether the return from injury of Matildas attacker Courtney Vine will help bring a big crowd to Marden on Sunday:

“I hope we get a big crowd out here. It’s a really good venue here at Marden when, you know, there’s a few thousand people in here and cheering and supporting for us so I’d encourage people to come out and watch Sydney.  They’ve got some really dangerous attacking players, and she is on so we know about the threat that they pose and how we need to play against them and we need to be at our best in order to quell their influence but we also think we have some attacking threats that they will need to be aware of.

“Whether or not sure she plays or doesn’t play, regardless, they’ve got a number of options that they can play across that that frontline that can cause a threat for us.”

Adrian Stenta on playing the first game of the season at Marden Sports Complex:

“We’re really familiar with this ground we feel it gives us a good home ground advantage as well. It’s had a fair bit of work put into it for the Women’s World Cup, it was a training venue as well. It’s good to be back here. We’re looking forward to playing the game and we just really hope a big crowd comes out to support us and we can get over the line for our first win.”

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