Adelaide keen on hot start

Adelaide United is desperate to get points in the bank before its Asian Champions League quarter-finals against the Kashima Antlers next month.

Adelaide United is desperate to get points in the bank before its Asian Champions League quarter-finals against the Kashima Antlers next month.

United, who squandered winning opportunities during the opening rounds of the Hyundai A-League last year, realise the extra importance of getting on the front foot early.

Their depth and fitness will be tested during September when they'll play four games in 11 days against Kashima in Japan on the 17th, Sydney FC on the 20th, the Antlers again on the 24th and the Newcastle Jets three days later.

Reds coach Aurelio Vidmar said he wasn't worried about the heavy workload ahead but was keen to have some early success.

"In those early games you need to take points and I think that's what is going to make the difference," he said.

"I certainly believe it's going to be a really tight season this year. Last year we played decent football in the first three games but we drew games so we were already behind the eight ball."

"In this period here you really need to hit the ground running."

Vidmar said he believed his team was prepared for the tough schedule ahead and added most players would rather tackle more games than increase their training sessions.

"What I'm banking on is everyone is fit and ready to go. Generally in our competition you play every game, we haven't been in a situation where you play midweek and on the weekends for a long time," he said.

"Hopefully everyone is fit during that period of September and we can rotate players; I've already got it penned into the back of my mind to do it, we just have to wait and see."

"There's always going to be knocks and bruises after the game so we have to assess it as the time comes."

United has a new-look line-up for the 2008/09 A-League season with at least five players expected to make their debut for the club against Perth Glory on Sunday.

The Reds failed to reach the Pre-Season Cup Grand Final but Vidmar said he was still happy with how the team was gelling.

"We played some decent football. We didn't score in the last two games but we certainly created a number of chances. There is a fair bit more experience in the side than there was last year," he said.

"They'll find their way out of a sticky situation, there's no doubt about that."

Captain Travis Dodd said he was hopeful the team would display cohesion in the opening rounds.

"We have had plenty of time together now, probably over two months, so we've gelled quite well and are looking forward to getting out there on Sunday," Dodd said.

"I think we set out last year to win all of our home games and that's something we need to do again this year. Last year as a team we conceded a few soft goals, especially towards the end of the game, and were getting a lot of draws."

"We need to make up for last season."