Kossie blasts fragile Reds

Adelaide United coach John Kosmina has criticised the lack of mental strength and character his players failed to show following the 3-0 loss to Perth Glory at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Adelaide United coach John Kosmina has criticised the lack of mental strength and character his players failed to show following the 3-0 loss to Perth Glory at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Adelaide dominated early and created a number of golden opportunities including two to striker Bruce Djite who had the goal gaping but failed to capitalise as Perth forward Shane Smeltz shocked the Reds with a 14th minute goal.

The finishing touch in the final third was further exposed when Glory veteran Steven McGarry punished the Reds for a comedy of errors in their own box from a corner to extend the Western Australian side's lead only six minutes later.

Adelaide, clearly rocked by Perth's dead-eye accuracy in front of goal, reverted to a tepid and apprehensive style of play as they were reluctant to venture forward and take risks.

The Reds' frustrating night was compounded late on when former Manchester United and Celtic midfielder Liam Miller capped off the 3-0 victory for Perth with his first goal the club.

Kosmina bemoaned the frustration that boiled over in his camp throughout the match after falling behind early and failing to respond through one of their 18 shots.

"I'm not being cruel but I don-t think our guys are mentally and emotionally resilient enough that when things aren-t going right that they can maintain pressure," Kosmina said.

"Some of the football up to the first two goals and even afterwards was really good but if you don-t take your chances you're going to get caught."

Having endured a woeful start to the season under former coach Rini Coolen, Kosmina suggested some of the blame lie with the Dutchman for Adelaide's mental incapacities and former bad habits that crept into their game against Perth.

The 55-year-old said the early season beating the Reds took to their confidence has not been helped either by the widening range and gap in personalities and level of experience amongst the playing group.

"The mental resiliency isn-t there because they were probably allowed to be that way too early on and it's also partly the makeup of some of the personalities in the group," Kosmina believed.

"When you've got some strong personalities and some weak personalities you generally tend to find the lowest common dominator and that drags the good guys down as well and makes everybody a little bit frightened to play." "When you're under the pump and under pressure you generally resort to your initial frame of mind ... bad habits take five minutes to create and a lot longer to change back.

"We copped that first goal and went straight back into frightened mood like they did six to eight weeks ago ... but they have to be tough and accountable."

Having endured their worst and second defeat in as many weeks since Kosmina returned for his second stint in late December, the Adelaide faithful let their disappoint show booing the team throughout with a number of supporters even heading for the exit early.

With the Reds failing to take their chances and make the most of their promising start Kosmina felt the fans were justified in their treatment of the team's performance.

"They weren-t booing the football they were booing the character and the fact we caved in again after six weeks of good solid work," Kosmina said.

"We've got to make sure it doesn-t happen again and that comes down to individuals in the group.

"Now we will see what they're really like and what they're really made of and who really wants to win."

Adelaide can expect a number of changes for next Friday's clash against the in-form Wellington Phoenix at home with vice-captain Cassio expected to make his long awaited return.

However with young defensive talent Daniel Mullen and Antony Golec set to join the Olyroo camp for national duty, Kosmina has a conundrum in the centre of defence with only one fit and available stopper in Nigel Boogaard, given former captain Jon McKain is still injured.

Kosmina admitted he could be tempted to utilise defensive midfielder Evgeniy Levchenko to fill the defensive gap.