Reds know how to improve

Adelaide United coach Rini Coolen is expecting a much-improved performance from the one his side gave last week in their 1-0 loss to Perth Glory when they take on rivals Melbourne Victory at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night.

Adelaide United coach Rini Coolen is expecting a much-improved performance from the one his side gave last week in their 1-0 loss to Perth Glory when they take on rivals Melbourne Victory at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night.

Adelaide struggled in their opening game against the Glory and looked a shadow of the team that produced strong results during pre-season.

The Reds' first-half in particular was poor as the Glory was able to dominate and retain possession with ease.

The second half was better from United but Perth regained dominance in the final 20 minutes of the match, keeping Reds keeper Eugene Galekovic extremely busy before scoring late on.

Coolen said his players knew exactly what was needed to perform better against Melbourne on Friday night.

"They (playing group) stood up and spoke about last week (loss to Perth) and know exactly what was wrong and wasn't wrong ... they took responsibility," Coolen said.

"We made things clear that we are definitely going to have to have another good start and be better tomorrow, especially when we play home."

"We know our jobs to do, we have our home crowd to support us and they will show tomorrow that it will be a different Adelaide United from last week."

With a confirmed sell-out crowd, Friday night's game is sure to be another fierce clash between the two sides as they look set to renew their rivalry this season.

With both teams struggling to achieve a winning result last week, this week's fixture is crucial to build momentum in what is set to be the most competitive A-League season to date.

Coolen acknowledged the magnitude of the clash and was looking forward to the pressure it would bring.

"Playing a home game against Melbourne Victory is a special game for everyone and I don't have to tell our players that," Coolen said.

"The great support from our supporters and the pressure from a game like this, is what you want as a professional football player and as a coach ... you have to cope with it."

"It doesn't matter if you win or lose the game before there's always that pressure, and that's what you want."

"We are really looking forward to this game and we will be ready tomorrow."

Although most will be looking forward to how the game unfolds, many eyes will be firmly focused on the performance of Harry Kewell.

The last time the two teams met on September 23 in a friendly, Kewell produced a scintillating display and was involved in almost every Victory attack in the 45 minutes he played.

Coolen admitted Kewell would require special attention, but said he could not afford to be too focused on the Socceroo with Victory having a number of other star players.

"If you look at all of Melbourne's attackers, even from the bench, Harry Kewell is not the only player to be aware of," Coolen said.

"He is a special player with what he brings on the pitch and it's a higher level then maybe everyone in the A-League."

"But around him there are so many quality players, so you can't focus only on Harry Kewell."

"We definitely have to take care of him and we have a game plan about that ... he will not be a free player on the pitch."

"It's the team Melbourne Victory we have to beat though and it will be a tough one, but there will be no easy game in the A-League this season."

Daniel Mullen is the only player missing from the Adelaide side that lost to the Glory last week, having not recovered from a hamstring injury.

United captain Jon McKain is expected to start despite missing training on Thursday while Victory midfielder Carlos Hernandez has flown back early from international duty with Costa Rica to be available for Friday night.