Reds happy to win ugly

Former Brisbane Roar marksman Sergio van Dijk said Adelaide United can upset his old team when the two sides meet at Hindmarsh Stadium in the top-of-the-table clash on Sunday night, but admitted they might have to do it ugly.

Former Brisbane Roar marksman Sergio van Dijk said Adelaide United can upset his old team when the two sides meet at Hindmarsh Stadium in the top-of-the-table clash on Sunday night, but admitted they might have to do it ugly.

Van Dijk praised the Roar for their beautiful game and acknowledged the kind of football Brisbane are producing has never before been seen in the A-League.

The Reds striker conceded United will have to improve on their last month, where they lost four from five starts if they are to record victory against Brisbane and keep in touch with the breakaway leader.

Van Dijk admitted a less attractive brand of football may be the only way to stop the Roar's record-breaking 18-game undefeated streak.

"At the moment they are playing really good football and at the moment we can do better to be honest," he said.

"Sunday is an important game but I am confident we can step up another notch and try and catch Brisbane."

"We have to give them credit for how they play because it hasn't been shown in the whole A-League for years now. They way they play is really attractive, they're doing well and they're on top so obviously they're doing something right.

"There are other ways to play, maybe a more physical game or with a counter attack, less beautiful ways to go but maybe as effective as theirs."

United went undefeated in their opening 13 games of the season, setting a new A-League record until it was eclipsed by the Roar, before losing seven of their last 12 matches.

Van Dijk is hoping Brisbane's first loss since early September will break the confidence and momentum of the runaway leader and see them 'crumble' heading into the business end of the season.

"It can change. This game we have to step up obviously if we want to end the season in a good spot," he said.

"If we can beat Brisbane maybe we can knock their confidence and maybe they crumble. If we can do that, maybe there is some hope and secure second spot and a better chance for the final."

Van Dijk acknowledged the Reds 2-0 midweek win against Sydney FC boosted United's confidence after a horror run of form.

"I think everyone would be less happy if we had lost that one," he said.

"It helps that we won, even though it was against the team that is bottom. It gives you a better feeling to go into the game against Brisbane and it helps."

The Netherlands-born striker admitted there is still some emotion playing against his former club but acknowledged it is also just another match.

The Reds No. 9 has enjoyed an amazing run of form in December, finding the back of the net five times in United's six games.

Van Dijk heads the goal scoring charts on 11 for the season, with the Victory's Robbie Kruse and Brisbane's Kosta Barbarouses are close behind on 10, while his team-mate Jean Carlos Solorzano is not far off with nine.

"It is my old club," he said.

"But on the other hand if it was against any other team I would want to win and score a goal as well. There is a little bit of emotion but it's no problem."

"I'm happy with the goals, but that's why I'm there. I hope to do the same tomorrow and try to be as consistent as possible because we need goals to secure second spot."