Carl Veart lamented Adelaide United’s lacklustre performance against Sydney FC on Saturday night.
The 10-man Reds were second best for virtually the entire contest on their way to a 4-1 loss.
Adelaide fell behind inside six minutes through Adam Le Fondre before Sydney scored three second-half goals while Jordan Elsey was sent off for a second yellow card.
Yaya Dukuly scored in the 89th minute for the hosts in what his first A-League goal.
“We started slowly in the first-half and we gave Sydney too much respect and too much time on the ball,” Veart told reporters in the post-match press conference.
“We looked very lethargic I’d say in the first-half tonight and we just weren’t as sharp as we normally have been.”
Adelaide need to win its final game of the regular season against Western Sydney Wanderers on Thursday night to guarantee its place in the finals.
Veart said the only way they could rectify its disappointing display was through getting the fundamentals right.
“We just have to go back to our basics and go back to our structures and reinforce to the playing group what they’ve done exceptionally well this season,” Veart said.
“We’re at home again and we play well at home. Tonight we didn’t play as well as we normally would but we just have to reinforce to the playing group that we’re good enough.”
Stefan Mauk struck the post with United trailing 1-0 and had that chance gone in it could have potentially changed the outcome of the clash according to Veart.
However, things drastically changed when Sydney scored two more goals in the space of four second-half minutes.
The Reds boss conceded that their defending was simply inadequate.
“Our defending was not at the standard that it needs to be at crucial parts tonight,” he continued.
“We gave them far too much space and time on the ball to make those forward runs and we got punished.
“They’re a very good side and they punished us tonight.”
Next match details:
Thursday, 3 June vs Western Sydney Wanderers
A-League 2020/21 – Matchweek 24
Kick-off 7.05pm ACST
Gates open 6pm ACST
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Broadcast: Fox Sports
Stream: Kayo Sports, MyFootball Live App