Reds geared up for 'grand final'

Adelaide United vice-captain Lucas Pantelis is more than aware Saturday night's clash with Gold Coast United is an early grand final for the last-placed Reds as they make their move over the season's final rounds.

Adelaide United vice-captain Lucas Pantelis is more than aware Saturday night's clash with Gold Coast United is an early grand final for the last-placed Reds as they make their move over the season's final rounds.

With seven games remaining, the Reds may be propping up the table but still find themselves just five points adrift of top six position due to the overall evenness of the competition.

But as the season heads towards its pointy end, Pantelis knows a loss to the Gold Coast will almost mean curtains for Adelaide's finals ambitions this campaign.

"In terms of the position where we're sitting at the moment, it's (this match) absolutely vital," Pantelis said.

"It's probably our grand final already … so I can't express how big this game is."

Up against a Gold Coast side that's won its past five matches at home, including a 5-1 hammering of local rival Brisbane on Boxing Day, Pantelis knows the magnitude of the challenge confronting the South Australians.

"We're looking forward to getting out there and taking it up to them," Pantelis said.

"We know it's going to be difficult. Gold Coast are a quality side, but at the end of the day we can just give it our best shot and hopefully we can come away with the three points."

While Gold Coast United hasn't had many problems finding the back of the net this season, scoring 32 goals, the most of any Hyundai A-League side, it's been a different story for the Reds, who've only managed 16 goals this season.

Pantelis knows the goals must start flowing if Adelaide United is to lift itself from the foot of the table, the midfielder saying the solution remains the same as it has been throughout.

"We just need to break those shackles. Once we score one or two goals, it will just keep on flowing, so it's a matter of getting that confidence up and we should be right," Pantelis said.

"One thing we do not lack is the bond we have as a group. We stick tight together and if we can keep doing that for the rest of the season, hopefully we can be in good stead come finals."