Vidmar's plan prevails

Mental fatigue and declining performances were the main reasons three key Adelaide United players were rested for the team's Round 12 clash against Sydney FC on Saturday.

Mental fatigue and declining performances were the main reasons three key Adelaide United players were rested for the team's Round 12 clash against Sydney FC on Saturday.

The Reds took a punt by starting Brazilians Cassio and Cristiano on the bench while tall defender Robbie Cornthwaite was left out of the squad all together. All three have been vital members of the starting 11 so far this season.

Vidmar said the club felt the trio were struggling and decided it was time to give them a break.

"We had a pretty good debate during the week with the coaching staff and we realised some of the decision making from those players has probably been at its lowest over the last couple of weeks," he said.

"So we decided to give them a rest where mentally they didn't have to think and prepare for a game but we still needed them on the bench."

Vidmar said the players didn't reveal they were feeling spent but weren't aggrieved when they were told of their demotions.

"Generally players never say that and you try and get some information from them and they always give you 'No, I feel good," Vidmar said.

"In the end if they say that, that's fair enough but then you have to look at their performances as well and at the end that was how the decision was made."

"There were no complaints about that. They know themselves and we just needed to refresh the group a little bit and I think we did that."

The change in personnel didn't hurt the Reds at all with the South Australian side beating Sydney FC 2-0.

Vidmar was pleased with the incoming players' efforts with Fabian Barbiero working 'his socks off' while Daniel Mullen 'grew' in the second half.

The coach would've also been pleased with Travis Dodd who lifted his game after a couple of quite weeks.

Dodd said it was good 'to get back into the groove' and score a goal - even if it was a fortunate one.

In the 77th minute the skipper blocked a Beau Busch clearance and watched on, almost in embarrassment, as the deflection sailed across the goal line.

"It should be goal of the year at the awards night at the end of the season," Dodd said tongue in cheek.

"I just took a punt, I tried to let him think he had more time than he did and just shut it down and sometimes they go in and sometimes they don't."