Pantelis: We're all captain

Acting Adelaide United captain Lucas Pantelis is getting prepared to hand the captain's arm-band back to Travis Dodd who is nearing full fitness and approaching his first start of the campaign after groin surgery in the off season.

Acting Adelaide United captain Lucas Pantelis is getting prepared to hand the captain's arm-band back to Travis Dodd who is nearing full fitness and approaching his first start of the campaign after groin surgery in the off season.

Pantelis has led the Reds out for all nine matches this season in the absence of Dodd and United remain the only side in the A-League who are still undefeated.

He said he has enjoyed the 'gig' but played down his role as skipper, acknowledging the Reds are a squad of 'leaders' on their own merit.

The diminutive midfielder admitted he has no qualms handing the arm-band back but taunted Dodd saying he'll be quickly taking it back if the Reds start losing.

"So far for myself I've very much enjoyed it but Travis is Adelaide United captain and I'm the vice-captain," Pantelis said.

"I'll be happy to hand it back, no problems with that but if he gets on a losing streak... I'm sure there will be a few words to say about that."

"It's a hard gig but it's something that I enjoy. Everyone is different and I'm the type of captain where I believe the 15 boys out there are all leaders in their own right. All I do is call heads or tails a pick which side to kick off."

Pantelis hinted he is looking forward to squaring off against two of his former team-mates in the Gold Coast's Bruce Djite and Kristian Rees, as well as former Hartlepool United striker, SA born and bred Joel Porter.

"Big Bad Bruce and Reesy," he quipped.

"I saw Reesy last week. We had a bit of a chat and also I know Joel Porter very well, an Adelaide boy also. We had a bit of a laugh together but come kick off and when we pass that white line, there's no friends and we'll go at each other. Hopefully at the end of the game I can have a bit more of laugh about it than them."

Pantelis reflected on the Reds last hit-out and admitted United were fortunate to come away with all three points in the 2-1 away win against Sydney after a last-gasp winner by Iain Ramsay.

The 28 year-old acknowledged it is unlikely the Reds can play 'unbelievable football' all season.

"You can't play 30 games of unbelievable football," he said.

"You're going to have games where you're not playing at 100 percent. The difference is can you win those games and that's what we did last week against Sydney."

"We didn't play to the best of our ability, we know that as players and the coaching staff, but we won the game. If we play poorly a few games out of the 30 we'll definitely take it provided we get a good result."

United coach Rini Coolen also admitted the Reds were lucky to escape with a win against Sydney but said a team needs that kind of luck to win championships.

He said if results like that fall in your favour a few times during the season, suddenly you have three or four wins that could have been loses, you are 12 points better off and one hand on the minor premiership.

"We were lucky last week although we didn't play the whole game bad," Coolen said.

"But if you have those kind of games not only once, but more in a season then probably you are going to win the league. But it was just the first time for us so we will see what happens in the next couple of games."