Reds lose rhythm

Adelaide United coach Rini Coolen has admitted his side is going through a troubled period after conceding their third consecutive defeat through a 2-0 loss to the Central Coast Mariners on Boxing Day afternoon.

Adelaide United coach Rini Coolen has admitted his side is going through a troubled period after conceding their third consecutive defeat through a 2-0 loss to the Central Coast Mariners on Boxing Day afternoon.

With second taking on third it was a cautious start from both sides but it was the Reds who had a few half chances in the opening 20 minutes before the home side worked their way back into the match.

Mariners striker Matt Simon scored the opening goal six minutes into the second half with a stylish solo effort after he had pinched the ball from Reds defender Iain Fyfe, while Sergio van Dijk completed a disappointing day for the visitors when he conceded an own goal in the 78th minute.

"I thought we had control of the game in the first half," Coolen said.

"There was nothing wrong but it had to do with the style of football we played - we had a 4-4-2 system and we prefer to play 4-3-3 and it is normal that they have a bit more in the transition but I thought we did well."

"We didn't create a lot of chances but we didn't give a lot of chances. I thought we had the best one when Jo Keenan got a good ball from Reidy (Paul Reid) - that is the moment you need to score and make it easy for yourself, but we didn't do that."

"Then in the second half we made an individual mistake defensively and they scored a goal. It is hard to come back from that of course because you have to score two goals to win."

"We changed a few things and pushed another striker up front and we created a few things and I think we came back a little bit more into the game. But again we didn't create enough chances and then there was the own goal from the set piece and we knew at that moment the game was over."

Coolen said it was a tough time at the Reds but there was nothing they could do now but work hard and lift their performances on the pitch to restore some confidence.

"We are in a period where everything is not going well. We have to get through that period but we have to win games to come out of it," he said.

"It was a flat game to be honest and those type of games are close and can go either way but we are in a period where we are not winning those type of games and if you are to win those type of games you have to be better."

"So we have some problems, we need to work on that everyday. It is not easy but we have to get on with it and get back to playing the level we prefer to do."

The Reds boss said the arrival of imports Dutch international Andwele Slory and Uruguayan Francisco Usucar as well the fitness of key players Travis Dodd and Cassio would also have a bearing on Adelaide's run to the finals.

"We will try to change it as soon as possible with the players who are available," he said.

"We have to play our next game in a couple of days, the schedule is not positive for us but in January hopefully we have some more players available probably not the 2nd of January because of the transfer window."

"Hopefully Cassio and Travis Dodd are fit for the next game but more than likely they are not, but we are trying to stay positive."