Reds lacked desire

Adelaide assistant coach Sergio Melta has accused his side of lacking desire during their disappointing 2-1 loss to a resurgent Sydney FC on Saturday night.

Adelaide assistant coach Sergio Melta has accused his side of lacking desire during their disappointing 2-1 loss to a resurgent Sydney FC on Saturday night.

The Reds produced one of their most lacklustre performances of the season in going down to the Sky Blues and have now lost four of their last five matches.

Coach Michael Valkanis had to watch on from the stands after copping a one-game touchline ban during the week and he wouldn't have liked what he saw.

They didn't manage one shot on target in the first half and only came back into the contest when substitute Tomi Juric pulled a goal back 12 minutes from time.

"We came here with a plan but we didn't execute it," said Melta when asked what went wrong.

"It's a bit worrying we didn't have any sort of desire.

"It's one thing not sticking to a game plan but not having any desire to get a result from the game is not a good thing."

Asked if he was surprised by their display just a week after their impressive win over Melbourne Victory, Melta said: "There's always danger of putting too much thought and effort into one game and not enough in the other.

"We talked about it and said make sure you don-t get into that frame of mind, win one game really well then lose the next one.

"We just fell into the trap where we didn-t do anything that we set out to do."

The Reds face a tough trip to Wellington next weekend and Melta challenged the players to respond in the hope of rediscovering some momentum before the finals.

"It's not just about the coaches...the players have to take responsibility on their actions," he said.

"We'll go through the process of that and hopefully our away form starts to improve as well.

"If we want to be serious contenders for the finals we might get an away game and our form away isn't the best in the league.

"We need to make sure we're on our game for next time."

Melta praised the contribution of debutant Juric and believes the young striker could be an x-factor for the Reds in the finals.