Adelaide's Halloran: 'It’s not like Marco getting the sack means we don’t want to win the final'
Adelaide United players had two choices when it was confirmed coach Marco Kurz would not remain at the club beyond this season.
They could have either let it derail their 2018/19 campaign, or use it to galvanise them for one big push for Hyundai A-League glory.
And on the evidence of the last few weeks they decided on the latter, with the Reds hitting their straps at just the right time to pick up seven points out of a possible nine and move into fourth spot heading into the last two rounds.
Adelaide’s timely return to form came after a five-game winless run, when they also failed to find the net in three straight matches.
Speaking on Tuesday ahead of Friday night’s Original Rivalry clash against Melbourne Victory, Halloran said a heart-to-heart meeting among the group helped turn their fortunes around.
“We sat down together as a group when we were in a bad patch of form,” the winger said.
“But it’s typical of any season, you're always going to have a dip. We also played some pretty difficult games, the teams we lost to were strong teams away from home.
We always backed ourselves, we knew we were capable of playing good football. Football changes pretty quickly, you win a few games and you are back in form.”
Halloran is no stranger to having to block out off-field distractions, like the one confronted by the Reds squad with Kurz’s departure.
“I’ve been at clubs where we have had four different coaches in the one season and it’s been absolute chaos,” said Halloran, who spent six years abroad playing in Germany and Japan.
“You can’t focus too much on that because there’s games coming thick and fast.”
The 26-year-old added: “Regardless of whether Marco was leaving or staying, we all had the same goal in mind.
“It’s not like Marco getting the sack all of a sudden means we don’t want to win the final. He’s ambitious and so are we so it doesn’t really change anything.”
Adelaide’s resurgence in recent weeks has them in the box seat for a top-four finish and a home Elimination Final.
If they can win their last two games, starting with the Good Friday blockbuster against Victory at Coopers Stadium, fourth spot will be theirs.
“The goal in the previous weeks was to just the make the finals. Now we’ve consolidated ourselves in the six and we’re sitting fourth, so it’s ours to lose,” Halloran admitted.
If we can beat Victory and get a good result against Brisbane then we’re guaranteed to finish fourth and that’s what we’re aiming for.
“I think the last match against [Victory], where we beat them at home, was probably the best atmosphere we’ve had all season outside of the [FFA] cup final.”