Stenta: We need to be at our best

Adelaide United Liberty A-League coach Adrian Stenta is expecting a low-scoring game with few chances against Western United on Saturday.

The Reds drew with Brisbane in a relatively open contest at Suncorp Stadium in their last start, before a weekend off because of an international break.

Western will have Kat Smith coaching for the first time since former coach Mark Torcaso stepped down.

With forecast wet conditions for the game at Marden Sports Complex, Stenta was predicting it would be hard to score against a strong defensive Western side.

Speaking before the game, the Reds mentor discussed a new teenage signing, getting players off the injury list, and what he expects from an opposition under a new coach.

Adrian Stenta on what his side did across the international break:

“We’ve really been just focusing on ourselves, our game model and style and not having a game last week has enabled us to really reflect inwardly and try and perfect some of the things that we are trying to do when we’re out on the park, playing our style of football.”

Adrian Stenta on the number of injuries his side has experienced so far this season:

“It has been difficult to try and get everyone on the park fit and healthy and get minutes into players. But I feel like we are not far off clicking. We’re not far off having our full squad available as well. And as you mentioned, for what we’ve been building in the last couple of weeks, obviously still chasing that first win of the season. But I think there’s been more positive signs than negative signs in our last few games.”

Adrian Stenta on how Chelsie Dawber has fit in since returning to the club in recent weeks:

“We were super keen to get Chelsie back and we’re glad that she wanted to come back and play for Adelaide again. She’s been nothing short of fantastic on and off the pitch since she’s returned, you can see that she’s really grown and developed as a person and as a footballer after two years abroad. She’s come back fitter and stronger and I think she’s really close to having a big impact in a breakout game in the not too distant future.”

Adrian Stenta on new youth development signing Miley Grigg:

“Miley is still in school, so quite young, got her braces of yesterday as well, too. She’s been training with us the majority of the year as has (fellow youth signing) Sian (Dewey) as have a number of girls through that NTC program. We saw an opportunity to bring in a couple on youth development contracts this week and she gets an opportunity to play and like I’ve always said, it doesn’t really matter how experienced you are or what your age is, or you know what your footballing background is, if you’re performing well at training, you’ll be given an opportunity to play and Miley’s been performing really well with training for someone so young for a good period of time now, so I’m excited to see what she can do if she gets an opportunity out on the park.”

Adrian Stenta on what he expects from the game against Western on Saturday:

“If you look at Western United in their history over a short period of time in this competition, they’re a hard team to score against. They put a high premium on defensive action and defending as a team so I feel like it’s going to be a tight affair with maybe a few chances. We’re going to have to really make the most of any opportunities that come our way.

“The forecast for tomorrow is a little interesting as well with a bit of wind, a bit of rain, a bit of everything around so we’ll see how that plays into the game as well but we’re expecting a really tough contest, they’ve got some good experienced players and they’ve been playing together for a period of time now as well so we need to be at our best if we want to get something out of it.”