Stenta: We’ll take a lot of confidence out of that

Adelaide United Liberty A-League coach Adrian Stenta is pleased with the teams’ consecutive wins but warns the upcoming match against Newcastle will not be easy.

Fresh after recording consecutive victories for the 2023/24 season, United faces Newcastle away from home on New Years Eve, looking to build on the confidence it took after its most recent away victory last week.

Speaking in preparation for the away trip, Stenta discussed a range of topics.

Adrian Stenta on the Newcastle Jets:

“It’s always difficult to go and play in Newcastle. They get really good home support as well. Their a side that likes to press high and create chances. They’re dangerous on the counterattack. And they’ve been playing some really good football and scoring a lot of goals. We’re expecting a really tough game from Newcastle, and we’ll need to be at our best if we’re going to get something out of the game.”

Adrian Stenta on finishing the year with a win:

“It’s a long way to go to get nothing out of the game. It’s always easier to travel back if we are able to get something out of the game. It would mean a lot. It’s another step forward. And just continuing that progression and improvement in performance that we feel like we’ve seen over the last month. That would probably be the biggest thing, apart from three points”

Adrian Stenta on the win away from home last week:

“Away wins are hard to come by in this league. We’ll take a lot of confidence out of that. We’ve always felt like we’re in the mix. We’ve just been battling a little bit for consistency within games and from week to week. That’s what I’ll be asking for from the group again this week.”

Adrian Stenta on the strong performance of Annie Grove last week:

“(It was her best game) for this season. We’ve seen her play a lot of good games for us. She’s also being pushed really hard by a very even goalkeeping group. And there’s two keepers that are currently sitting behind her, who also have the quality and ability to start in our team too. We feel like our goalkeeper group at the moment is really positive. And it’s really pushing all of those players to be at their best. Like it is with the outfield group as well.”

Adrian Stenta on competition for spots within the group:

“It’s crucial. You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re just picking whoever’s available at that time. There are some players who are training really well at the moment. They can’t get a look in on match day. That gives me headaches. But they’re good headaches to have. It’s difficult to pick a team at the moment. And there’s some players that are hard done by because they’re missing out on selection. But they just need to keep working hard and persevering. And when they get their opportunity, make the most of it. For the players that are currently in the squad, they just need to keep performing to hold their spots as well.”

Adrian Stenta on the absence of Ella Tonkin:

“Ella has probably been our most consistent performer across the season. And for someone so young, she brings a lot to our backline. She’s going to be a big loss, but we feel like we have the players in reserve waiting to step in and take her spot and do really well. We’re confident we can cover Ella.”