With Adelaide United’s last domestic Hyundai A-League match approaching, Bruce Djite has said the realisation of the Reds’ recent underperformances is positively driving the squad in their desire to finish the season as strongly as possible.
Adelaide United is set to face Melbourne City this weekend at Coopers Stadium, in what could be somewhat of a dress rehearsal of the first round of this season’s finals.
And, considering the Reds’ current form, Bruce Djite has acknowledged where his side has lacked, but, despite some questioning United’s credentials leading into the finals, he firmly believes he and his side will be firing on all cylinders starting this weekend.
“I certainly think we can (get our form back before the finals),” Djite said.
“We haven’t been at our best, probably for the last month or so, so that’s something that we’re working on. Now’s the time to change gears and really prepare well (for Saturday’s game) and also be ready for the finals because it’s a whole new competition, really.
“(The finals) are knockout and we’re well aware of that and we don’t want to repeat what happened last season.
“We’re willing and able and we will be ready.”
Continuing in a similar context, Djite went on to discuss how the risk of suspension could prevent some Reds from featuring against City due to an accumulation of yellow cards. But ahead of the finals it is a precaution that might be necessary in ensuring the strongest team is able to take part come round one.
“The ideal (situation) would be to maybe play (against Melbourne City) with the same team that you envisage playing with in the first finals game,” Djite explained.
“But, in saying that, we’ve been playing with roughly the same eleven players for large portions of this season.
“If we lost a player for the finals because they get suspended, it’s a very hefty price to pay. So (some) boys may well be rested this week and the boys that come in will obviously have a good opportunity to not only finish of the season well, but to also push their claim for that finals game.
“We’ll just keep doing what we’ve been doing. It’s been working quite well for us up until now and there’s no reason for us to change things, especially at such a crucial point in the season.”
When asked about why United has seemingly faded in their overall dominance in games, Djite noted that it could be due to the general nature of the Hyundai A-League as a competition – whereby each team faces their fellow clubs three times a season.
“The Hyundai A-League is a unique competition because you play every team three times, so everyone knows everyone very, very well and that could be a reason why our second half of the season form hasn’t been as good as the first half,” Djite commented.
“As teams analyse you more, and the more often you play them, the harder it gets because of how well aware they are of you.
“When we’re on, and believe me come finals we’ll be on, we’re very, very hard to stop. I think many teams have seen that this season.
“When there’s a lot on the line and when you know if you lose you’re out, our boys can certainly come to the fore in those sort of scenarios.”
Adelaide United next host Melbourne City in Round 27 of the Hyundai 2014/15 A-League season on Saturday, 25 April at Coopers Stadium. Kick off at 7:00pm ACST. To purchase tickets, click here.