Dylan McGowan has called for more leadership in Adelaide United's defence, as the “frustrated” Reds continue their preparation ahead of their Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season opener against Melbourne Victory next week.
After missing out on Adelaide’s last competitive fixture against Victory in the team’s frustrating 3-1 loss to their arch rivals in the Westfield FFA Cup Quarter Finals, McGowan and his teammates are continuing their preparation for what he describes as the biggest fixture on the Reds’ calendar.
McGowan also highlighted the importance of leadership in the heart of United’s defence, something that lacked the last time the two sides met. Yet McGowan remains unfazed, as he believes the extensive length of pre-season is ample time to ensure all areas of concern are properly attended to.
“For us, there’s no bigger game than against Melbourne Victory,” McGowan said.
“(Missing the last game and) watching your mates (play without you) is incredibly difficult, especially considering the result.
“But we’ll let out our frustrations in Round 1.
“We’re trying to add some more leadership at the back to get us a bit more organised and we’ve been working on that for the past couple of weeks, so hopefully that comes out.
“Now the team is looking really good. I think the squad is well and in good shape at the moment and we’re getting a lot of boys back from injury.
“We’ve had a long enough pre-season and definitely had enough time to iron-out any bumps in our form. Hopefully our hard work has paid off and it pays off on Friday night.”
When asked about the type of match Reds supporters can expect when the two sides meet in seven days time, United’s No. 4 said it will be typically hostile and aggressive, providing an exciting match for eager fans who’ll soon flock to Adelaide Oval.
“These games are always filled with aggression and, generally, if you’re not aggressive against Melbourne Victory, you’ll pay the price,” he continued.
“I’ve always said that our home is at Coopers Stadium, but the more fans we can get in (to watch us), the better it is for us as a club and also for us as players.
“If we play a couple of games at Adelaide Oval to fit in an extra 20,000 people, then so be it. The boys are happy with that and it helps to build our club’s reputation within South Australia.
“At the end of the day, we’re the faces of the football club and we’re the ones people think of when they think about Adelaide United.
“So, as a team and as individuals, we put a lot of onus on ourselves to represent the club in the best possible way. And a game at Adelaide Oval where we put on a good performance is exactly what we need to kick-start our season and develop the club.”
Adelaide United will face Melbourne Victory in Round 1 of the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season at Adelaide Oval on Friday, 9 October 2015. Kick-off is at 7.10 pm. To buy tickets, click here.