Adelaide United midfielder, Vince Lia, thinks “winning ugly” is a sign of a good team as the Reds laboured to a 2-1 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers.
It was a real battle at times in the heat and humidity at ANZ Stadium on Friday night, as Adelaide were far from their best.
Lia himself opened the scoring with an emphatic strike following a neat lay-off from Craig Goodwin.
The Wanderers responded in the second-half from a scintillating Roly Bonevacia free-kick, before Goodwin had the final say with his first goal against WSW and seventh this season.
Lia gave an honest assessment following the game and felt Adelaide were ordinary at times, with the stifling conditions only compounding matters.
“To be honest we were a bit lucky, we were pretty average tonight,” Lia told Fox Sports after the match.
“I think that’s probably one of our worst performances.
“… I thought tonight we were a little bit off the pace and I felt like we didn’t get enough pressure.
“It was very humid in the first-half and I know a lot of the boys found it difficult to get around the pitch but we won and I think good teams win ugly.”
United knew the importance of rebounding following a 2-1 loss to Sydney FC five days earlier.
Lia said the team spoke about starting the game with more intensity, and on eight minutes they were rewarded.
He also stated facing front-runners Perth Glory on Wednesday will provide another stern test for his side.
“It was a cliché I guess but it was about a better reaction,” he said.
“We were disappointing last week and we wanted to start well, we felt the warm-up was good and were sharp.
“And we wanted to start well. We did and we got the goal but then I felt from there we were a little bit off the pace and it wasn’t a polished performance.
“But like I said we got the three points, so we need to improve again because Perth is going to be a whole new challenge for us and then another away trip.”
With the Reds now 10 points adrift of seventh spot for the time being, Lia revealed their focus has now shifted to moving higher up the table.
“I think initially top six is the goal,” he explained.
“But from history in this league you need to finish as high up the table as possible and top four and a home final is what we’re going for.
“We wanted to win tonight to kind of kill off Western Sydney and keep them below us.
“Now there’s a massive gap between the top six and the rest so our aim is to finish top four so we just have to keep improving and keep picking up points.”
Adelaide United face Perth Glory in Round 15 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Wednesday, 23 January at HBF Park. Kick-off is at 9.30pm ACDT. Live on Fox Sports, and streamed on the My Football Live App.