Reds to brave the elements

Adelaide United departed for freezing China on Saturday ahead of its Asian Champions League clash against Shandong Luneng on Wednesday night and captain Travis Dodd is looking forward to the challenging road trip.

Adelaide United departed for freezing China on Saturday ahead of its Asian Champions League clash against Shandong Luneng on Wednesday night and captain Travis Dodd is looking forward to the challenging road trip.

The Reds will touchdown in Jinan around midday Sunday, after two stopovers; around six hours in Singapore and two hours in Beijing.

It will be a mammoth journey for United who arrives back in Adelaide on Friday morning, with an estimated total of 18 hours waiting in transit and airports and a further 30 hours in the air.

The Reds though, have done it all before on their way to a fairytale grand final appearance in the 2008 ACL campaign as Dodd is well aware.

"Yeah we've got another long trip ahead of us, but quite a few of the boys have done this before and we're looking forward to getting back into it and playing another game," he said.

The forecast for Jinan next week appears bleak with the daily minimum temperature tipped to plummet below zero as United prepares to make it two wins from two outings in the ACL.

Red's boss Aurelio Vidmar doesn't believe his side will suffer from the icy-cold temperature with nearly three full days to train and adjust to the conditions, despite the expected maximum temperature on game day to be just two degrees Celsius.

"I don't think we'll have any problems adjusting. We get there on Sunday afternoon and we'll go for a little run late (Sunday afternoon) then also Monday and Tuesday, so no it won't have any effect on us," he said.

Vidmar also remains quietly confident that his troops have put behind them a poor domestic season and their recent form means they are primed for big things once again in the ACL.

"The last two weeks of the A-League were very good and that continued last game against Pohang, so we're going there in a very good mood, very buoyant and very confident that we can get a result," he said.

"There's a lot of things. What we've changed in training, the inclusion of new players and a turnaround in form. It's been a whole combination of things. We're happy where we are at the moment but we've also got to be mindful that we're not complacent."

"We can't get too carried away with it, (the 1-0 victory against Pohang) there's another five games left and we've got to roll up our sleeves and make sure we qualify for the next round."

It was a sentiment echoed by Dodd who also believes United's form will be enough to see the Reds get over the line and defeat Shandong and the weather.

"I think the new recruits have been a breath of fresh air throughout the squad, put everyone back on their toes and they've certainly fit in very well. They provide extra competition amongst the starting squads and I think it's starting to show in the games we're playing, we're getting pretty good results," he said.

The captain conceded the Reds are not yet too informed on their opponents but will have plenty of time over the course of the next few days to study Shandong, who finished fourth in the Chinese Super League in 2009.

"To be honest the playing group hasn't seen a lot yet, but we're going to be doing video sessions once we're over there, but I'm sure the coaches have already started to pick apart their game and look at the plays we need to watch out for," he added.