Mullen ready to look forward

Adelaide United defender Daniel Mullen is optimistic the Reds can clear the slate on a disappointing A-League season and enter this month's Asian Champions League campaign with a fresh approach.

Adelaide United defender Daniel Mullen is optimistic the Reds can clear the slate on a disappointing A-League season and enter this month's Asian Champions League campaign with a fresh approach.

United are set to finish the 2009-10 season in last place and with only two games to go are now building towards their opening ACL match against the Pohang Steelers on February 24 at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Mullen, who came to prominence in the team's 2008 ACL campaign, said his team faced the challenge of looking forward after their poor run of results in recent weeks.

"I hope so, it's going to be hard, ideally we would love to just forget about it and start a fresh," he said.

Mullen said the team's success in its last campaign should provide it with plenty of self-belief and optimism ahead of its opening match.

"Last year we sort of had our own way of playing throughout the A-League season where we had a decent defensive block and we'd work off that and if we got a goal we'd hold onto the lead," he said.

"So we took that into the ACL and it worked for us which was good because (a lot) of the Asian teams like to attack."

Mullen himself is hoping to rekindle some of the form he displayed when he found a permanent spot in the Reds' defensive line-up.

"One of my first games starting for Adelaide United was against Bunyodkor and I had a good game and from there I think I started for the rest of the season so the ACL last year was excellent for me," he said.

"Hopefully this year we can turn around our league form. We've got Marcos Flores training with us at the moment and he looks a great prospect for us ... a new start, new players but hopefully we can finish this season off on a winning note."

It's been a tough season for Mullen personally, who's admitted he's suffered a case of second-year blues at Hindmarsh Stadium.

A hamstring injury ruined his preseason while the 20-year-old spent six weeks in the National Youth League before regaining a permanent spot in the senior side.

"It's hard to put a finger on it, a lot of people told me about it (second-year blues) and I said 'Yeah, I'll be alright and I'll just plan to work hard' but it seems like players figure you out a bit more and people have more expectations on you as well," he said.

"It's always easier to come into a winning team and do well. You come into a team that hasn't been winning is hard."

"My first game back was against Brisbane Roar and we won and I thought that might be the turning point but since then we haven't won a game."

But Mullen, who's played once for the Qantas Socceroos, has tried to draw positives from a tough year and believes he'll be a better player thanks to the challenges he faced.

"It's been an excellent learning experience for the younger ones," he said.

"I'm taking more responsibility, being more of a leader and having more of a voice on the pitch. Just because I'm 20-years-old doesn't mean I can't contribute."