Reds turn focus to finals

Adelaide coach Aurelio Vidmar and captain Travis Dodd are focused on winning the Hyundai A-League grand final after the club fell one goal short of winning the premiership at Gosford on Sunday night.

Adelaide coach Aurelio Vidmar and captain Travis Dodd are focused on winning the Hyundai A-League grand final after the club fell one goal short of winning the premiership at Gosford on Sunday night.

Adelaide needed to beat the Central Coast Mariners by two goals to finish the preliminary rounds in first place and secure an automatic place in the Asian Champions League.

But Vidmar's team had to settle for a 1-0 victory, despite dominating for long periods.

"Just the one goal, that's the way it goes," Vidmar said.

"We probably could have had more then one, it wasn't through lack of trying. We persisted and pushed very hard to get a second goal. It was a fantastic effort, we worked our socks off."

Dodd, who was a constant threat to the Mariners defence, said he was 'gutted' to come so close to the premiership.

Central Coast coach Lawrie McKinna said his team will have to improve dramatically to challenge for the title.

The fourth-placed Mariners have lost their past three matches.

"It was a pretty poor performance," McKinna said.

"We had great chances and opportunities to go forward but kept giving the ball away. It was poor."

"We have to get better."

McKinna denied his team was in a slump but said the club needed to work hard on the training paddock during the next two weeks before taking on Queensland in the minor semi-final over two legs.

Midfielder John Hutchinson said the Mariners were getting punished for 'switching off.'

"We're letting ourselves down with the basics," he said.

"We've let a lot of people down over the past three weeks."