Risk pays off for Reds

It was a case of ask and ye shall receive for Adelaide United's Round 19 match-winner Lucas Pantelis.

It was a case of ask and ye shall receive for Adelaide United's Round 19 match-winner Lucas Pantelis.

The spritely vice-captain was set to make his comeback in the National Youth League after spending two months on the sidelines with a knee injury.

But after throwing everything into his recovery, the 26-year-old felt he was ready for Hyundai A-League action and his coach agreed ... eventually.

Coach Aurelio Vidmar admitted starting Pantelis, who scored the Reds' second goal in the 74th minute against the Jets, was a risky move he initially wasn't going to take.

But the midfielder's confidence in his fitness and some optimistic words from assistant coach Phill Stubbins saw him change his mind.

"He (Pantelis) came up to me last Monday and said that he was ready and I said 'OK, no problems,'"Vidmar said.

"There are some players that will do that and others who don't so that's how he is and that's fine, not a problem. If he didn't tell me I probably would've said 'Go and play youth league'."

"He came up to me at the right time. He probably saw that there might have been a hole somewhere and well done to him."

"I was really wary about playing him, I really wanted him to play in the youth league but after discussions with Phil (Stubbins) he probably made me change my mind and he said 'We haven't got much to lose.'"

While Vidmar had concerns about Pantelis' involvement in Friday night's clash, he had no doubts the 166-cm player would eventually earn a place back in the side.

"When you see someone who hasn't played for two months come out and play 80 minutes like he did tonight tells you that he's put in an enormous amount of work into is rehab," he said.

"We've really missed someone in the middle of the park that can start getting in behind people and Lucas can certainly do that ... but it worked out well."