Reds staying focused

Adelaide United has been urged to ignore pre-match banter and focus on winning when it tackles bogey side Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Adelaide United has been urged to ignore pre-match banter and focus on winning when it tackles bogey side Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Over the years, the war-of-words between these successful sides have almost been as entertaining as the matches with both the Reds and the Victory taking swipes at each other.

United coach Aurelio Vidmar accused his Victory adversary Ernie Merrick of whingeing during last season's final series while his team, with some baiting from the media, portray Kevin Muscat as the villain on a regular basis.

The mind games continued this week with Reds captain Travis Dodd proclaiming the pressure was on Melbourne to keep their winning streak over Adelaide going while Archie Thompson responded by saying the comments suggested Dodd had a lack of confidence in his team.

Results have shown that talk is cheap with Victory winning the last seven matches against their rival.

Adelaide defender Iain Fyfe, who's been involved in just one of those losses after returning to South Australia from Sydney FC, believes his new team-mates might have taken their eye off the ball in the past - especially when it comes to confronting Muscat.

"To be honest as a man he's a fantastic bloke, on the field he gets under the skin of a lot of players, it's how you handle that as a player and I've noticed here a lot of players buy into the comments and the build-up which plays into his hands a little bit," Fyfe said.

"It's about pushing that aside and concentrating on the football aspect of things."

"He's a very smart player Musky, he's been around the traps, he knows exactly how to get under the skin of a few players, it might be a few younger players. I think the key to it is to take it with a pinch of salt."

"I know when he's had a chirp-up to me it doesn't really affect me whatsoever so hopefully the players can get on with the job."

But mind games aside, Fyfe conceded beating Melbourne was a tough task for any team.

"I'm used to it from the Sydney perspective, Sydney-Melbourne - there's a bit of a rivalry there so I'm not surprised by it," he said.

"They kind of had the wood over us as well to be honest. They are a very good team, a very good squad - they've got players who can come off the bench and really have an impact for them but they are missing Allsopp now who was a bit of a thorn in our side."

"The way to beat them is probably just to put pressure on them, especially down there, once they're on top of their game they are a very hard team to stop."

The Round 12 clash holds extra significance for Fyfe who will become only the third player to play 100 Hyundai A-League games.