Reds to stay Furious

Adelaide United's Adam Hughes has admitted his side's second versus third clash with North Queensland on Saturday is a somewhat unexpected blockbuster, especially after both sides struggled to make the grade last year.

Adelaide United's Adam Hughes has admitted his side's second versus third clash with North Queensland on Saturday is a somewhat unexpected blockbuster, especially after both sides struggled to make the grade last year.

The Reds' midfielder acknowledged both sides have opened the season strongly and against all odds, with most punters tipping a similar season for both sides who are both without owners and controlled by the FFA.

United have been decimated by injury while the Fury had to recruit virtually an entire squad after the pre-season debacle where the club's future was left in the balance.

North Queensland has bumped off reigning champions Sydney FC, while holding grand finalists Melbourne Victory last week after finishing the match with nine men.

"We've started the season well and so have they," Hughes said on Friday.

"It will be a tough game up there, it always is. So, if we can go up there and take all three points it will be a great result."

The Fury will be without two key players as Chris Grossman and Erik Akoto miss the clash through suspension after their send-off's against the victory while Hughes returns after his own red card, missing the Reds' first win last week.

Hughes is expected to slot straight back into the side at the expense of Shin.

"It's probably lucky we've got them this week with those two out, they're two big losses," he said.

"Shin has been playing well, the team has been doing well overall. I've played a couple of different positions so far and I'm happy the manager has got the faith bring me straight back in."

Although the hard-nosed midfielder missed the victory against Melbourne Heart last week, Hughes acknowledges Dutch coach Rini Coolen is starting to have an impact on the Reds and how they play.

"We all know what Rini is trying to implement here," he said.

"We've just got know where the ball is going. The speed of balls is going to be a huge part of our game this year and the quicker we can move the ball the better the team we'll be."

The 28 year-old was impressed with his team-mates form in the front third and believes it won't be long before the Reds can start punishing sides.

"The chances that we created last week were great," he said.

"It's a matter of hitting a team now for four of five goals. We're creating the chances it's just a matter of getting off to a good start and if we can put two or three in, in a first half performance it would be quite satisfactory."

With captain Travis Dodd (groin), Fabian Barbiero (ankle) and Robert Cornthwaite (groin) among the injured list, Hughes admitted he has stepped up and taken more of a leadership role in the absence of some of the Reds most senior players.

"I always like to see myself as a leader amongst the team," he said.

"There are a few of out there that like to lead, our leadership group in that sense, I take that on board. With the youngsters in the squad we've got a mixture of both young and senior players there so I'll always try and lead when I can."