Adelaide United coach John Kosmina believes his side's renewed defensive resolve has been a key to the Reds' bright start to the season following Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Melbourne Heart at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Adelaide United coach John Kosmina believes his side's renewed defensive resolve has been a key to the Reds' bright start to the season following Saturday-s 1-0 victory over Melbourne Heart at Hindmarsh Stadium.
The top-of-the-table Reds' chumps-to-champs transformation has been stunning.
Last season, second-bottom Adelaide leaked the most goals and had the worst goal difference in the competition by a street, a stark contrast to this season's first seven rounds in which United have yielded just four goals and produced four clean sheets.
"Our defence is really, really solid," Kosmina said. "How many clean sheets have we had - Newcastle, today (Heart), Western Sydney, Brisbane …we've had four clean sheets out of seven games.
"Clean sheets win games. Defensively we've been good.
"As much as we've turned the ball over at times in front of that defence, those guys (defenders) have pretty much done their job.
"I don't think (goalkeeper) Eugene (Galekovic) had to make a save today.
Adelaide's goal was rarely threatened by a Heart outfit that showed plenty of spirit in the first half, but wilted noticeably after an own goal from Simon Colosimo in the 58th minute. What the final scoreline didn't show was that the Reds were marginally the better side up to half-time and did virtually all the attacking in the second half in which they smashed the visitors.
"I think we should have won by more," Kosmina said. "I'm not being arrogant about that.
"We played well enough to score a few more goals.
"We let them in on occasions but it (allowing Melbourne chances) was more about the mistakes that we made.
"We scored a strange one (goal) today but I think on balance we probably deserved it.
"When we were tuned in and doing the things we talked about during the week I thought we played some pretty good football."
The Reds are enjoying their best start to an A-League campaign since 2005/06 when, in Kosmina-s first stint at the helm, they were undefeated across their first six matches.
The veteran manager is refusing to get carried away, obviously having not forgotten that the 2005/06 outfit, which finished top at the end of the home-and-away rounds, bowed out of the major round with a preliminary final loss.
"I still think we've got a long way to go to get to where the players in this team are capable of getting," he said.
"There's no point dwelling on what we've achieved so far.
"It's about what we've got to achieve."