Reds out to make amends

Robbie Cornthwaite believes he's returning to Adelaide Oval an improved player and is hopeful he can help reverse last year's result against Sydney FC on Saturday night.

Robbie Cornthwaite believes he's returning to Adelaide Oval an improved player and is hopeful he can help reverse last year's result against Sydney FC on Saturday night.

Last January, Cornthwaite received a first-half red card for pulling down Alex Brosque and watched from the sidelines as the Reds surrendered a lead to lose 3-1.

The defender is well aware of the indiscretion which hurt his team's chances of victory but denied South Australia's home of cricket generated negative feelings for him.

"It brings back good memories, I used to come here and watch the cricket, so to come out on Adelaide Oval and play football, the game I love to play, is a great honour," Cornthwaite said in jest.

Instead the 197-centimetre player reflected on the progress he's made in his career since his last game at the cricket stadium.

"Obviously 12 months ago I got red-carded at this ground and then the Asian Champions League I had a few setbacks there," he said.

"(But then) I started scoring goals and playing regular football and my game has developed quite a lot."

"I was lucky enough to be involved in a Socceroos' squad and I'm looking to continue to improve, doing a lot of work with Tony Vidmar after training and I'm really enjoying my football at the moment."

Cornthwaite said the team was keen to regain top spot and reverse the result from 2008.

"It's heading towards the end of the season and everyone is fighting to stay in finals contention so we are expecting another big, tough match against Sydney FC," he said.

"Hopefully we can get the three points. We played Sydney last time here at Adelaide Oval and weren't able to do that so it's something we'll be looking to do tomorrow (Saturday) night."

Meanwhile, United coach Aurelio Vidmar estimates his team will need to collect at least five more competition points to secure a place in the top four.

But he said the players were looking to collect even more points which would put them in the box seat for a grand-final berth.

"We probably need a good three to four wins to take that top spot and it's certainly within our reach but it really depends what happens in our next three games," he said.

"One thing is having games in hand, the other thing is actually winning them so we are that far away from doing that."

It's believed Scott Jamieson is recovering well from a corked hip and should be available to play Sydney while Paul Agostino and Ang Costanzo will more than likely play in the National Youth League.

Vidmar said he had not lost faith in Costanzo despite his lack of recent game time in the senior squad. He said the defender needed to wait for an opportunity to break back into the line-up.

"You just don't know what's around the corner - we could get an injury, someone could get sent off, you don't know what's going to happen, so everyone has got to be ready, prepared for when their chance comes," he said.