Barbarouses wary of Reds

Phoenix striker Costa Barbarouses is wary of a revitalised Adelaide United side ahead of Friday's clash at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Phoenix striker Costa Barbarouses is wary of a revitalised Adelaide United side ahead of Friday's clash at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Barbarouses is conscious of his teams' perilous fortunes and knows it needs an improved performance if it is to arrest its recent slide down the table.

"They haven't really got going this season which is dangerous for us because they could start playing their proper football going into the business end of the season," he said.

"I think they're vulnerable in a way. We've got to get the ball up front quickly, get numbers forward and get numbers in the box."

While temperatures aren't supposed to reach anywhere near 30 degrees, Barbarouses says the team has proven itself capable of performing in the heat.

"It's going to be a tough trip. I'm sure it will be hot over there as well but we have to put it out of our minds," he said.

"At the end of the day it's 90 minutes of hard work. We did it against Newcastle in 40 degrees and we don't like to make excuses, we just know we have to go there and grind out a performance."

Perhaps the Phoenix recent performances can be put down to a hang over after six of its squad were involved in the All Whites' successful World Cup Qualification campaign, however, Barbarouses refused to look for excuses.

"The guys have played a lot of games but everyone is fit enough and mentally strong enough to get through that barrier," he said.

"I don't think you can look at our squad and say to the World Cup boys that they're playing too badly, I think we've just been unlucky in the last few games."

While Adelaide United will provide some stiff opposition, Barbarouses is finding it difficult enough to make the starting XI. However, he has been impressive with his energy and eye for space in the limited time he has had on the pitch.

"I'm pretty pleased with how I'm going at the moment. I'm making the squad week in week out for probably the last two months.

"I've scored a goal and set up a couple. It is difficult not being on from the start and having little game time but the more minutes I play I think the more you'll see the best of me."

The 19-year-old striker is also hopeful that some more representative duties will come his way after starring for the New Zealand Under 17s a couple of seasons back.

"By the end of the season I would've liked to have gained a few more starts and scored some more goals.

"Hopefully, if I do play well through until the end of the season, there may be a World Cup spot there for me."