Stenta: We need to see a response

Adelaide United Liberty A-League coach Adrian Stenta says his side needs no motivation to perform against Canberra United tomorrow after a disappointing showing in its last game.

Stenta’s team was dominated in the first half last week, in a five-nil loss to ladder leader Melbourne City and the coach has been forthright in his analysis of the performance.

Speaking before Adelaide travels to Sydney to face Canberra in the inaugural Unite Round, he said he expected a strong response.

Stenta also discussed the absence for a second game of experienced pair Chelsie Dawber and Dylan Holmes and praised the initiative to host all A-League Men’s and Women’s games in the same city as part of the United Round.

Adrian Stenta on the five-nil loss to Melbourne City last week:

“We were really disappointed with our effort in the first half. We thought we had a good game plan but just didn’t quite execute it very well after probably the first 10 or 12 minutes, and then just dropped our heads once we conceded a couple of goals. We understand that we need to be better with, especially our performance in the first half isn’t something that we’re prepared to accept. And, you know, the players attitude training this week has shown just how disappointed they are with what happened on Saturday.”

Adrian Stenta on whether it is difficult to lift the side after such a poor result:

“It’s not really difficult, because they’re professionals. They’ve got a lot of pride in their performance. And same with the coaching staff as well, you know, so it’s very easy for them to be highly motivated for this game this week because we know we’re better than what we showed on Saturday. We’re really keen to put our best foot forward and prove that we are a team that needs to be taken seriously in this competition.

“We need to see a response because no one’s prepared to have another performance and result like that, again.”

Adrian Stenta on whether Saturday’s game against Canberra is a must-win game:

“I think you hit the nail on the head, every game is a must-win, we’re in the position we’re in. It’s the halfway point of the season. So we get a chance to play every side again, that we’ve played already and starts with Canberra. And I wouldn’t read too much into their latter position, because they played some really good football this year. And we’ve got some firepower up front. So, we know that we need to be at our best to try and nullify that and cause them problems going the other way.”

Adrian Stenta on whether he feels the pressure following a disappointing last outing:

“I would hope that questions would be asked because if they’re not, then something worse is going on, which means we become irrelevant, right? So we want to be relevant. We want to be a strong force in this competition, we feel like we can be, we just need to play consistently across games and from week to week in order to achieve our best. And there’s always going to be pressure, there’s pressure on players, there’s pressure on staff. Pressure is something that just comes with the with the territory and that’s something that we actually thrive off.

Adrian Stenta on the absence for a second game of experienced duo Chelsie Dawber and Dylan Holmes:

“They’re very important to our team. And I spoke last week about the fact that I don’t feel like you can really replace players like that so it’s not about trying to replace them. It’s about trying to match their output with other players that get an opportunity to play. I’ve said all along that I feel good about the squad that we’ve got and the players that we’ve got in the squad to come in and do a job and so we’re going into this game really confident that the players we select will be able to get the job done if they execute correctly.”

Adrian Stenta on the inaugural Unite Round in Sydney:

“I think it’s one of the things that makes our sport really unique. We’ve always tried to promote the women’s game alongside the men’s game because we play at the same time of the year. The fact that this Unite Round, which is an amazing concept in itself, is able to happen jointly with elite men and elite women, I think it’s something that’s unique to our code and something that I hope the fans of all teams embrace.”