Tarek Elrich has declared Adelaide United remain positive and highly motivated to turn their Hyundai A-League season around this week against Melbourne City, despite a rough start to the campaign.
With United succumbing to a 3-0 defeat against Brisbane Roar in Round 4, the Reds remain without a win in 2015/16, currently with just two points.
In spite of this, Elrich has claimed he and his teammates are incredibly focussed on the task at hand and are dedicated in ensuring this week against City will be the end of their winless streak.
“It’s obviously not a good place to be, not winning games this early on in the season,” Elrich said.
“But in saying that, the mood is still positive and the boys still believe. When we walked in the change rooms we say that we have to believe in each other and we have to stick together and we’re doing that.
“The good thing is that we have a short turn around now before our game with Melbourne City, playing on Thursday, and we can prove a point at home.
“City are a good team, but they were winning 2-0 (against Newcastle Jets at half-time) and ended up losing 3-2 at home. They’ve got pressure.
“It’s a good time to come up against them, especially seeing as we’re at home in front of our fans. We’re looking forward to it and don’t have to wait a whole week to make up for (our game against Brisbane).”
The Reds return to training tomorrow (Tuesday) and Elrich says the team will hit the track hard and rectify the faults that have appeared in the opening few games, particularly in front of goal.
But with the squad welcoming back the previously injured Bruce Djite to the team last weekend, United’s forward presence has been bolstered substantially, Elrich claiming Djite’s return will help revive the squad in the coming rounds.
“We have players that can step up and our front four can score goals and change a game instantly,” Elrich said.
“(Sergio) Cirio is the sort of guy who has had many chances and at other times he would have buried (them all). But I’m sure it’s going to come sooner, rather than later.
“Now Brucey (Djite) is back and he’s great for holding the ball up and creating opportunities for everyone else.
“We’re not panicking and we’re going to work hard in training each day, like always, and turn it around this week. We know what we need to work on, but most importantly we know this style of football can make us successful.”
The gap between United and Sydney FC at the top of the table currently sits at eight points, yet Elrich refuses to be concerned, saying the nature of the competition and its competitiveness ensures plenty of points are dropped by all.
A key element of this positivity stems from the unity of the playing group and the belief instilled in each player by Head Coach, Guillermo Amor, Elrich commenting Amor’s experience at the highest level benefits the squad because he knows what players experience, which will pay off in the long run.
“Guillermo is very positive and isn’t the sort of character that’s going to be all angry and bashing whiteboards when you’re losing 1-0 at half time. But he’s played the game and he knows exactly what to expect. This will help us during the season.
“He’s spoken to us all and reassured us that things will change. He doesn’t panic and neither will we.
“We’re a unit. We all defend together; we all score goals together; and we all win together. This is what it’s about.
“The A-League is the sort of competition where teams take points off each other all the time and with one win you’re back in the (top) six.
“We’ve been around long enough to know how the A-League works and we’ll continue doing what we’re doing in preparation.”