Adelaide United winger Ryan Kitto has revealed he is ready to step up in the absence of injured teammate Sergio Cirio if called upon by coach Guillermo Amor for the Reds’ huge clash with Melbourne Victory on Saturday.
The club confirmed Cirio suffered significant medial ligament damage to his right knee against Western Sydney Wanderers, after a strong tackle by Jack Clisby forced the 31-year-old from the pitch moments later.
However, while Kitto admitted it was extremely disappointing to see one of the Reds’ star players in Cirio spend up to 10 weeks on the sidelines, he is more than ready to take his opportunity.
“It’s definitely disappointing, he’s a very important player for us and someone that I can learn from on the training field and watching on the weekend,” Kitto said.
“So for him to go down like that it’s very disappointing, but there will be an opportunity for someone in the squad.
“We’ll see what happens, it’s up to the Coach (Amor) and whoever does that role we’ve got the full confidence in and we’ll train hard this week and get ready for Melbourne Victory.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity if it comes my way and it’s just up to me no matter what my role is, if I’m on the bench, if I come on for 10 minutes, if I’m starting.
“I’m going to do my best for the team and that’s the most important thing and that’s the family environment we have here everyone does their role so I’m looking forward to that."
The Victory are winless after the opening two rounds this season, most recently suffering a 4-1 derby rout against cross-town foes Melbourne City.
Consequently, Kitto expects a physical encounter for the massive meeting against rivals Melbourne at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night – not too dissimilar to Adelaide’s Round 2 match versus Western Sydney.
“They (Wanderers) had the disappointing result in their derby, 4-0 against Sydney and tried to impose us physically and they did that and we expect this Saturday night (against the Victory) to be no different,” Kitto said.
“But we’re also fired up because we’ve had a 1-0 lead and let that slip (versus the Wanderers), so I think it will be a good game.
“They are a very good team and we saw them in pre-season, they have a number of good players and we think they are one of the best teams in the league and we expect nothing less.”
Adelaide United host Melbourne Victory in Round 3 of the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season on Saturday, 22 October at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT.