Verbeek pleased with Reds’ progress, confirms workloads will continue increasing ahead of FFA Cup


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Adelaide United Head Coach, Gertjan Verbeek, said he was satisfied with what he saw from his players in an internal trial match at Coopers Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

The first team played the youth team in a modified game which consisted of three 20 minutes periods.

Verbeek discussed the reasons behind the decision, stating it allowed him to have more communication with his players and concentrate on specific areas.

You can talk to the boys more often,” Verbeek said, after Nathan Konstandopulos unleashed an emphatic 30-yard strike into the top corner as it finished 1-0.

“For the first 20 minutes the focus was on a particular part and the second 20 minutes it was on a different focus, and the third one (20 minutes) was another different thing to look out for and take care of.

“So you can do more tactical training than in a normal game of two halves of 45 minutes.”

George Blackwood was absent from the altered match with Verbeek providing an injury update on the striker.

“He’s out for three or four weeks with a little injury in his hamstring,” he explained.

“So we’ve to be careful and (take) no risks. It’s better to start one week later than one week too early. He’s training alone with the physiotherapist.”

The Dutchman believes the team have made progress since his arrival and intimated more reinforcements were on the way.

“It’s a little bit difficult to say because we lost a player in (Craig) Goodwin, a good player,” he said.

“We’re waiting for a striker, maybe at the end of the week we’ll know a little bit more. “It’s a little unlucky that our other striker Blackwood is injured, so we’ve to deal with that and I’m satisfied with the work they do, the way they do it and that’s okay.”

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Verbeek said the players’ workloads will continue increasing as they prepare for their FFA Cup 2019 Round of 32 meeting with Melbourne Knights in less than two weeks.

The Reds take on Raiders on Tuesday night at Taperoo Reserve in another friendly and the former AZ Alkmaar boss suggested the predominant focus will be to get more minutes into the legs of his senior players.

“We also have to work on our game condition,” he said when asked is would give more players from the youth team a run, after several of them featured for the entire 45 minutes against MetroStars.

“On August 7 we have a game to play against a team who is in competition.

“So we also have to make minutes, so now we’ve made 60 minutes and next week a lot of players will play 80 minutes – though I don’t want to play with two team like I did last week (against MetroStars).

“So every time they get more minutes to be ready for the FFA Cup game.”  

Adelaide United face Melbourne Knights in the Round of 32 of the FFA Cup 2019 on Wednesday, 7 August at Knights Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACST. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports.

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