Hughes: Reds on notice

Hard-nosed Adelaide United midfielder Adam Hughes admitted the Reds have been put on notice with coach Rini Coolen revealing two signings in a week and potentially a third to arrive in time for the international transfer window in January.

Hard-nosed Adelaide United midfielder Adam Hughes admitted the Reds have been put on notice with coach Rini Coolen revealing two signings in a week and potentially a third to arrive in time for the international transfer window in January.

Coolen unveiled Uruguayan midfielder Francisco Usucar last week and announced on Monday that former Dutch international winger Andwele Slory would be joining the club by the end of the week.

It was also reported in some sections of the media in Adelaide that a third international signing is also set to join the club.

Hughes said the Reds would welcome the healthy competition for places in the squad and acknowledged it is exactly what United needs and could prove to be the difference in winning a championship.

"It's what you want at a football club," he said.

"If you haven't got competition you can get lazy in that sense and you need to have people there competing for positions on the park because that is what will take you to the next level and probably what will take Adelaide to a championship."

"With these boys coming in hopefully it can freshen things up and it will certainly be a benefit for the club."

Coolen expressed his desire to keep the squad together and hopes current members of United won't leave the Reds to chase more game time if displaced by the new signings.

The Dutchman said his players are true professionals who will improve significantly with the arrival of quality international imports.

"I hope no one leaves," he said.

"I told them weeks and months ago it's something they have to work on. You have to work hard for your position. That's the difference between here and overseas. You have to work harder for your position and there's more pressure on the players."

"Everyone wants to be one of the best squads and get good results. You need more competition between the players and everybody wants competition."

"There won't be a problem with our squad. They are real good professionals, they work real hard. They know exactly what we want together."

Hughes denied top spot has slipped away from the Red's clutches after a shock 2-1 loss to Melbourne Heart with United coughing up a 1-0 lead in the dying minutes.

The Reds are 10 points adrift of league leader Brisbane Roar, but could get to within a point if they win their two games in hand and claim victory over the Roar in Adelaide on January 2, in what will be United's fourth match in 12 days.

"Top spot is still there. Mathematically we're still a chance so it's something we're still aiming for," he said.

"We've still got Brisbane to come at the end of this thick schedule coming up so we have to take each match as it comes by and we've got to pick maximum points up as we go by."

"They're far outplaying everyone else at the moment and that's a game where we have to pick the three points up to continue on and keep close to them."