Coach delighted with Reds

Adelaide United coach Rini Coolen has expressed his delight with the Reds as they bounced back to form and snapped their three-game losing streak with a comfortable 2-0 victory against Sydney FC.

Adelaide United coach Rini Coolen has expressed his delight with the Reds as they bounced back to form and snapped their three-game losing streak with a comfortable 2-0 victory against Sydney FC.

The win brought an end to a horror run for Adelaide who had lost four from their previous five starts heading into the encounter .

The Sky Blues were the Reds third of four opponents in the space of 12 days with the hectic festive schedule culminating on January 2 against league-leaders Brisbane Roar.

Coolen admitted he wasn't surprised by United's performance against the defending champions, despite missing captain Travis Dodd and Socceroo keeper Eugene Galekovic through injury, while a host of other key players were also nursing niggling injuries.

The Dutchman conceded the Reds were low on confidence after the 'unnecessary' losses of the past fortnight but was happy United returned to the winners' list.

"We are real happy we won the game today, especially a home game, but I'm personally more happy the way we did it," he said.

"I wasn't surprised because I know my team can play football well. In the period we're in now, we don't have so much confidence having lost a bit in the last couple of weeks."

"We spoke about it and it (losing) isn't necessary as long as we believe in each other and create some chances and play football."

Acting captain Paul Reid was a clear standout for the Reds, setting up both goals with some delightful passing.

Reid released Marcos Flores who provided the cross for Sergio van Dijk to score his 11th goal of the season before dinking over the Sydney defence for Cassio to run on to and then watch his deflected cross sail over Liam Reddy and into the net.

Coolen heaped praise on the midfielder, adding his standout performances are what Reds fans have come to expect of the former Bradford City hard man.

"He was fantastic but it wasn't the first time he played well of course," he said.

"I think as a whole team we played well. Paul was real important, not only as a captain but how well he played. It was a great performance for the team but for Paul as well."

Reid acknowledged his first appearance as captain for the Reds was a special moment.

"It was a special moment to wear the armband, it was the first time I've done it for Adelaide United," he said.

"To play against my home team there was a bit of an incentive to go out there and put in a really good performance."

Coolen also lauded the efforts of Galekovic's understudy, Mark Birighitti, labelling the Young Socceroo as an 'animal' on the training track.

Birighitti stepped up and proved to be more than a worthy replacement after a solid showing between the sticks for United, despite almost fumbling over the goal line before recovering to keep his second clean sheet for the Reds.

With only three A-League appearances to his name in three seasons behind Reds No. 1, Coolen admitted he had complete faith in the 19-year-old and that Birighitti had prepared exceptionally for the match while showing maturity beyond his years.

"He's an animal on the training track to be honest and he prepared himself well," he said.

"He's still young but he has played a lot of games and got experience with the national team. We weren't happy to lose our first goal keeper but we also knew our second one is also a real high level keeper as well."

"If you see how he is working with Galekovic together with Peter Blazincic our goalkeeper coach, how he has trained with us from the start of the season until now, we knew he could be ready at any moment."