‘This has to be our standard’: Jakobsen says win over Victory is Adelaide’s new benchmark
Michael Jakobsen says Adelaide United have now set the standard they must hit every week if they are to figure in this season’s Hyundai A-League Finals Series.
The Reds skipper laid down the marker after his side snapped a four-game losing streak with their 1-0 win over Melbourne Victory on Friday night.
It’s been a tough period for the 2019 FFA Cup winners, dropping out of the top six thanks to a winless run that spanned back to December 8 last year.
Coach Gertjan Verbeek publicly criticised his squad in the lead-up to the Victory clash, while the players had a private meeting to try and turn things around.
And it had the desired effect as Ben Halloran’s first-half goal stopped the rot in front of more than 11,000 fans at Coopers Stadium.
“We’ve been a bit sloppy, we conceded some stupid goals, we weren’t defending good enough. Tonight the intent and the attitude was different,” Jakobsen told Fox Sports.
“This has to be the standard going forward otherwise we aren’t going to make the top six.
“It’s up to us [the players]. We’re the ones out on the pitch. We’ve had some good chats in the group and we know we can deliver better,” he added.
“It’s about getting out there and showing what we can do. We all had a feeling it hasn’t been good enough for a month now.
“It was about time we got a good ‘pep talk’ from the coach and the players have grown a bit from it. It’s what you need sometimes.”
Whatever has gone on at the club over the last week certainly had the desired affect as they surged out of the blocks against Victory.
The Reds produced some high-octane football in the first-half and could have led by more than just Halloran’s goal at the break.
While they had more chances in the second half, they had to defend resiliently at times as the visitors came more into the match.
“It’s the best answer you can give when you have lost four times,” coach Gertjan Verbeek said.
“You can keep everybody quiet and you can look forward to the next game. When you lose four times in a row as a sportsman you are not happy. But tonight everyone is happy again.
“The first-half we played very well. Quick tempo, good control, we had a lot of the ball, built a lot, had a few chances and scored a good goal.
“The second half we defended well. We got a little bit tired…when you have the ball you have to keep it a bit longer which we couldn’t do.
“But [the players] fought and they fought for a good result and a clean sheet.”
Adelaide jumped into the top six on the back of Friday night’s result, leapfrogging both Victory and Western United FC.
They are next in action on Australia Day (Sunday, Jan 26) when they travel to Whitten Oval in Melbourne to take on Western United FC, with kick-off at 6pm AEDT.