Carl Veart lamented Adelaide United’s lack of ruthlessness in the final third, but was pleased to record a rare clean sheet following a 0-0 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers at CommBank Stadium on Sunday night.
Fresh from playing the Wanderers four days ago at Coopers Stadium which ended in a 2-1 defeat, the Reds were slow out of the blocks.
However, they grew into the contest and largely had control of the game after the opening 25 minutes but could not find a winner.
It was the first time Adelaide was able to keep an opponent scoreless since New Year’s Day or 13 matches ago.
“I think tonight was quite similar to Wednesday night,” Veart told reporters after the match.
“I think we had some good control in the game but just didn’t make the most of our possession.
“The pleasing thing tonight is we didn’t really give anything away either. We made it very difficult for them.
“So we kept a clean sheet, first one for a while, so happy with that. We just needed to be a little bit more clinical in the front half.”
Veart reserved praised for 19-year-old centre-back Alexandar Popović, who impressed on his starting debut alongside Lachlan Barr in a new-look defensive partnership.
“I’ve known Alex (Popović) for a long time,” he said.
“He’s a great kid, great defender. It’s rare to have, in Australia, a young defender that knows how to defend.
“I thought he was excellent tonight, he just needs to keep building on these performances.”
The Reds now have a week on the track to prepare for its trip to Central Coast Mariners this Saturday night, who defeated Macarthur FC 4-2.
Veart anticipated another difficult match, but stressed his side need to continue collecting points.
“We’ll just keep working on our style of football,” he continued.
“We’ll recover, it was tough out there tonight. The pitch is quite hard, so I’m sure the boys are going to pull up a little bit sore, so we’ll recover from that.
“And then have a look at Central Coast, they had a good win on the weekend, they’ve hit a little bit of form so we’ll have to have a good look at them.
“It was a tough game the last time we played them and hopefully we can go there and pick the three points up because we need to keep picking points up.”