The coaches | Kosmina

Sort out the defence, score goals, and do it with style; has Kossie kept up with the times for Adelaide United?

In the lead up to season 2012/13, we're looking at the club coaches, their history, their challenges and what they have to do to make this season a success.

John Kosmina, Adelaide United

For all John Kosmina-s history with Adelaide United, there is a feeling that he starts season 2012/13 with a clean slate.

After returning to the Reds as caretaker manager in the fallout of Rini Coolen-s dismissal last year, Kossie then signed on for another season and has set about reconstructing an Adelaide side that was on its knees following Coolen-s botched “five-year plan”.

But the Reds go into season eight with a settled squad, sprinkled with some promising imports, and riding high on their run to the AFC Asian Champions League quarter-finals.

Strong pre-season performances, including a 4-2 defeat of Sydney FC and a 6-2 thrashing of Brisbane Roar, appear to show the club is ready to burst out of the traps in October.

History: Previously led Adelaide to a Hyundai A-League grand final appearance, where they were thrashed 6-0 by Melbourne Victory. His return in 2011 saw them finish second-last to the imploding Gold Coast United.

Challenges: The A-League has changed in the brief time Kosmina was not in control of a club, as Ange Postecoglou and Graham Arnold set a new standard for a technical style of football, based on a clear and successful philosophy that has become the target for all clubs.

Adelaide were a shambles last season, scoring just 26 goals - less than one per game - and conceding 44, the worst in the competition.

So the challenges are clear: sort out the defence and find a way to score goals - and challenge some of the best sides the competition has ever seen. In the likes of Galekovic, McKain, Djite and Van Dijk Adelaide still have the foundations to achieve it but those around them have to step up.

Much lies on Kosmina-s new recruits - Argentines Marcello Carrusca and Jeronimo Neumann. If they can get anywhere near the heights of the Reds' previous favourite South American (now public enemy No.1) Marcos Flores, season eight might not be so painful for the Hindmarsh faithful.

Target Position: Top six is a minimum. If Kossie makes the finals well, he-s likely to be rewarded. If he doesn-t or just scrapes in, Adelaide might be glad they only went for a one-year contract this time.

Final Word: Kosmina-s harshest critics question whether the Reds boss, still in the process of gaining his A licence, has kept up with the A-League development.

There should be no doubts over Kosmina-s ability to coach or motivate a football team but has he moved with the times? The league is harder than ever and only a serious improvement will keep his job.