Coolen: Reds were scared

Adelaide United coach Rini Coolen said his side were afraid to make mistakes in the demoralising 3-0 loss to Gold Coast United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night.

Adelaide United coach Rini Coolen said his side were afraid to make mistakes in the demoralising 3-0 loss to Gold Coast United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night.

In what was a desperately needed and vital three points for Adelaide in the hope of keeping their struggling season alive, the Reds looked nervy and unwilling to push forward and take risks.

The cautious and tedious approach was exposed by Gold Coast's counter-attacking gameplan as they found two goals through Ben Halloran and Marceo Rigters in the space of 18 minutes in the opening half to stun a Reds team highly favoured to get their third victory of the season.

Adelaide had their chances in the second, particularly late on as they took the shackles off and looked confident attacking a 10-man Gold Coast who lost defender Ante Rozic to a red card in the 80th minute.

However some intelligent saves from substitute goalkeeper Tyson Jerrad on for the injured Glen Moss, and a late goal to Dylan Macallister condemned Adelaide to ninth spot on the table.

Coolen did not recognise the performance as Adelaide's worst given Gold Coast's position on the ladder and the importance to win but admitted the loss was one of the more disappointing on the back of the positive display in the 1-1 draw with rivals Melbourne last week.

The Dutch coach said the loss was also big let down to the crowd of 7,967 who attended Hindmarsh Stadium and at times became vocal with the displeasure for the home side.

"I definitely didn-t have the feeling before the game that we were going to struggle because of our last game against Melbourne Victory where we got some confidence, played some better football and got a good point," Coolen said.

"The whole week of training was at a good enough level to make the next step and finally win a home game."

"You have to win your home games to make some steps up the ladder ... and we can't play like that and ask of people to come and support us - it's not acceptable."

"If you want to use your supporters to bring you to another level then you have to play better football to get that support."

"It wasn-t happening Friday and it was very disappointing."

After conceding a second in the 36th minute, Coolen felt the goal sapped all the confidence out of his side as they became reluctant to take risks.

"After we copped that second goal we lost all the confidence that we had and I could see the team getting down and that's not necessary from what I saw last week (against Melbourne) and in training sessions ," Coolen said.

"I prefer that my players go on the park and don't be afraid to make mistakes, but they were scared."

Adelaide vice-captain Eugene Galekovic shared his coach's opinion noticing the team's frailties throughout the match from his goalkeeping post.

"It showed straight away and we talked about it half time that we were scared to make mistakes and move the ball forward," Galekovic said.

"Players were more comfortable playing an easy ball instead of that ball that could maybe create something."

"It's definitely a sign of low confidence when stuff like that starts to happen."