Coolen: I'm to blame

Adelaide United coach Rini Coolen said he is responsible for his side's struggles this season following a 4-0 thrashing to the Central Coast Mariners on Friday night at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Adelaide United coach Rini Coolen said he is responsible for his side's struggles this season following a 4-0 thrashing to the Central Coast Mariners on Friday night at Hindmarsh Stadium.

The Reds headed into the important clash undefeated in four games and began the game slowly but positively.

However last season's runners-up took control shortly after the opening 20 minutes to pile on three goals in a frenetic eight minutes to lead 3-0 at half-time before wrapping up the three points midway through the second half.

Coolen admitted he was to blame for yet another lacklustre performance and Adelaide's biggest home defeat since the inception of the Hyundai A-League.

The Dutchman was not willing to hide behind any excuses either despite missing several key players.

"I'm responsible for it, that's the way it is. I'm not happy and I'm very disappointed with all my players," Coolen said.

"It doesn't make you happy to see your team losing their confidence and playing like that ... we have a lot of areas to improve."

"It's a big disappointment for us as a coaching a staff, for the players and for our supporters who are always here for us and behind us ... I feel very sorry for them."

"A lot of quality was not available for us but we are definitely not going to use that as an excuse."

Reds midfielder Fabian Barbiero was not willing to let his coach take the blame, however, suggesting the responsibility lied with the players.

"We definitely have the quality and a big enough squad to cover all positions like Rini said but we just have to put it together and demand more from ourselves ... Rini can only do so much," Barbiero said.

"We need to demand more from the playing group and put out solid performances week in week out."

Although Adelaide has won only two games this season, Coolen remained upbeat that the Reds could progress to the finals in a Hyundai A-League competition that sees third and bottom separated by just six points.

The 44-year-old said he was looking forward having a near full squad to choose from in the coming weeks to make a raid on the top end of the table.

"I still believe in a good future ... because one of the positive things for us in this league at the moment is that we still have a big chance to be in the first six positions and qualify for the finals," Coolen said.

"It's still a long way to go and we know we have to do better and can do better ... we have too much quality for that not to happen."

"Hopefully we can have everyone available as quickly as possible because it's been a long time since we've played with the same team and same formation with the same players ... it's something that you need to lift to a higher level."