Adelaide on the attack

Adelaide United cannot afford to play defensively in its opening home ACL fixture against Pohang Steelers according to Adelaide United interim head coach for the Asian Champions League Joe Mullen.

Adelaide United cannot afford to play defensively in its opening home ACL fixture against Pohang Steelers according to Adelaide United interim head coach for the Asian Champions League Joe Mullen.

The striking department has been a sore spot for the Reds this A-League season, managing only 24 goals in 27 games, five shy of next-worst North Queensland Fury.

United has attempted to rectify the issue by signing Brisbane Roar marksman Sergio van Dijk and the Argentinean import, creative playmaker Marcos Flores.

Van Dijk finished the season as the second highest goal scorer in the A-league, netting 13 times. The Dutchman will provide a strong target man for the Reds, and also someone who is clever on the ball.

Flores will look to be the link-man for United as a player with great vision and the ability to find team mates and get into scoring positions.

"Yeah he's (van Dijk) been great at training and you can see the striker's instinct is there," said United Captain Travis Dodd.

"Playing with Marcos for the first time a couple of weeks ago against Newcastle, it's great to have somebody with that vision and ability to put the balls through or on the ground or over the top so we're looking forward to playing with these guys a bit more in the future and hopefully if these guys get a run tomorrow (Wednesday)... we can get the club off to the right start tomorrow night."

Reds boss Mullen believes a win at home for the opening fixture of the ACL is imperative.

"At home we want to win the game and get off to a good start, and you can-t have that with a defensive mindset," Mullen said.

"We'd like to go to try to win this game. Certainly acquisitions like a Marcos Flores will add that, and we think we-ve got good offensive players out wide with speed, so it will be important that we have an attacking flavour tomorrow night."

Teenage sensation Matthew Leckie has been a revelation for the Reds this season since making his debut in round seven against Melbourne Victory.

He then scored in his second game coming off the bench against the Fury, a last-minute equaliser against Gold Coast, and added another to bury Newcastle Jets on the final day of the season.

Leckie has been used out wide and as a target man but with the inclusion of van Dijk it seems certain the young speedster will either play off the big man or out wide to try and get in behind the Korean's defence.

Last ACL campaign (2008) saw United register 14 goals in 12 matches with current Wellington Phoenix player Diego Walsh starring throughout, scoring four goals and finishing as top goal scorer.

Cristiano also managed a couple including 'goal of the tournament' honours in the World Club Cup.

Cristiano has been left out of the Red's squad after an indifferent season and the arrival of van Dijk.

Dodd's performance often influences United's results and it comes as no surprise he found the net three times during that fairytale run to the Champions League final against Japanese powerhouse Gamba Osaka.

The Red's leader had a poor A-League in front of goal by his own standards equalling his lowest return of four goals.

"I know in the A-League I was down a bit, but as I said that's in the past and hopefully I can start looking forward to a good campaign."