Crunch time for Reds

Adelaide United striker Bruce Djite says the club is targeting a sharp turnaround in fortunes ahead of Saturday night's showdown with Melbourne Victory.

Adelaide United striker Bruce Djite says the club is targeting a sharp turnaround in fortunes ahead of Saturday night's showdown with Melbourne Victory.

Friday night's 4-0 thumping at the hands of Central Coast Mariners sees Adelaide languishing in ninth spot on the A-League table, with only Gold Coast United worse off.

Djite said the players had done a lot of soul searching following the loss, and they were determined to kick-start their season with a win at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

"I don't think it's a matter of how we're going to turn it around, we have to turn it around," Djite said.

"It's not a matter of how, when, if - it's a matter of we have to do it now."

"We put our hands up, we're not doing the job."

With both teams chasing just their third win, Djite said Saturday's match would be a tense affair.

"There's definitely a bit of pressure on us and certainly a lot of pressure on Melbourne Victory, they haven't had the best run of results either," he said.

"It's definitely going to be a massive clash this weekend and I'm sure the boys are looking forward to it."

"It's something I hope all of the boys embrace because that's what derbies are full of - pressure and must-win games, and us and Melbourne Victory are pretty much in the same boat, we've really got to turn our seasons around."

Djite said he could understand the frustration of the club's supporters after their indifferent start to the season.

"We (the player) are probably hurting the most," he said. "I feel bad for the supporters, I understand that because I'm also a supporter of teams, and Adelaide is special with the passion."

"That's a big reason I came back here because the fans are so passionate and I love being involved in a club like that."

In a significant boost for the Reds, striker Sergio van Dijk is a chance of returning from a calf injury.

Van Dijk has not played since Adelaide defeated Gold Coast on November 11, but he trained fully with the main group on Tuesday and Djite is quietly confident his strike partner will be available to face Victory.

"To get him back would be a massive boost," Djite said.

"He has missed a few games but if he can come back with some good sharpness then I'm sure that will definitely help the team."