United to show character

Adelaide United shot-stopper Eugene Galekovic admitted the Reds are currently in the middle of a form slump after losing three of their last four games but denied the wheels have completely fallen off after a blistering start to the season.

Adelaide United shot-stopper Eugene Galekovic admitted the Reds are currently in the middle of a form slump after losing three of their last four games but denied the wheels have completely fallen off after a blistering start to the season.

The Reds went the opening 11 games without a loss, setting a record 13-game undefeated streak after two wins in their final two fixtures of the last campaign, before their winning run came to an end when they lost 2-1 to fierce rival Melbourne Victory.

The Reds had led the competition by six points at one stage but after their loss to Melbourne, a 4-0 thumping by Brisbane Roar and a shock 3-1 defeat at Newcastle, United now find themselves five points adrift of league leader Brisbane.

Galekovic, who has been forced into action more times than any other keeper in the league so far, acknowledged injuries to key players have contributed to United's poor form but said the Reds must show more character in order to return to the level of when they were undefeated and flying high.

"Obviously results haven't gone our way and we haven't been playing how we were at the start of the season," he said.

"We've just got to get playing that way and if we can results will come. There are key players missing in Matthew Leckie, (Daniel) Mullen and (Nigel) Boogaard but you have to deal with that and the character of the squad has got to come out and show how good we are."

"I think it's just a bad patch we're going through and all teams go through it. Hopefully I don't have to be called upon as much as I have been and we've just got to keep going, train hard and hopefully get to where we were at the start of the season."

Galekovic said keeping a clean sheet against Melbourne Heart on Friday night will be top priority with the Reds having conceded nine goals in their last four games - equal to the total amount leaked for the opening 11 games of the season.

The Socceroo shot stopper also admitted United have done it tough in the back half this season with injuries leaving the Reds short on defensive options, particularly at right back.

The Reds only recognised right full-back Mullen has missed game time due to international duty with the Olyroos and an ankle injury that has seen him miss United's last four games.

Midfielder Cameron Watson had filled the hole at right back to great effect earlier in the season, while Adam Hughes and Fabian Barbiero have also been used to cover the loss of Mullen.

Stopper Boogaard has been sidelined since week two of the campaign after a seriously injuring his ankle at training and restricting his appearances for United to just one, coming on the opening day of the season.

"Obviously we're going for a clean sheet and if we do that we will get a result," he said.

"We've got to tighten up, we've practised that a little bit during the week and hopefully it improves tomorrow. We've just got to get tighter and keep a higher line. If we get tighter they won't get in behind us. We've just got to improve and hopefully it starts this week."

"I think on our right side players have come in and out of the team. Mullen is obviously out and Barbiero who hasn't played in that position, probably never, he's just getting adjusted to it and he had a great game last week. We're going to get players back next week and we can only improve from there."

Galekovic said United must attack from the kick off and try get on the score sheet as early as possible after slow starts against Perth and Newcastle.

The Reds recovered from a lacklustre first half against the Glory to record a 2-0 win, but weren't so fortunate against the Jets who punished United's timid start with two goals inside the opening quarter of an hour.

United's custodian is hoping a starting berth to captain Travis Dodd can lead the Reds to victory.

"I think that's one thing we've got to work on, going from the start," he said.

"Travis is back in the team so that will give us some extra firepower up front. When we tend to score first we play well and the confidence grows so I think that's what we will be aiming for, to try and get the first goal and go on from there."