Vids: Dodd not dropped

Adelaide United coach Aurelio Vidmar has hosed down speculation that captain Travis Dodd was dropped from the side for last Friday's clash against Wellington Phoenix.

Adelaide United coach Aurelio Vidmar has hosed down speculation that captain Travis Dodd was dropped from the side for last Friday's clash against Wellington Phoenix.

The Reds have been ruthless in selection in the past fortnight, with the seasoned likes of Mark Rudan and Robbie Cornthwaite available for selection but again cooling their heels on the sidelines for the second week in a row.

But Vidmar insisted Dodd's non-selection was injury rather than form related.

"Travis was not dropped," Vidmar said.

"Travis had a slight strain at the back of his knee from last week, right up the the top of the calf, and we gave him every opportunity to get himself ready for the game."

"He had a final test yesterday (Thursday) afternoon and he still pulled up quite sore."

"So unfortunately for us and for Travis, he had to miss out."

Whether Dodd's presence and leadership would have made a difference will never be known as United squandered a 1-0 lead and plenty of momentum following a stunning Alemao strike by conceding what turned out to be an own goal off the leg of keeper Eugene Galekovic.

Vidmar rated Alemao's strike highly.

"He's been pulling the trigger at training for quite a while," Vidmar said.

"It was an unbelievable goal. When he hit that, I didn't know where it was going to go and all of a sudden it was in the back of the net."

"It was one of those power drives that float mid-air and didn't give (Phoenix goalkepper Liam) Reddy any chance."

It was the Reds' only moment of joy as again, execution rather than effort proved their achilles heel.

"I can't fault the effort," Vidmar said.

"I thought the effort was fantastic, they worked really hard."

"They stuck to the gameplan and really worked hard in terms of pressing."

"We pushed and pushed and it certainly wasnt through a lack of trying ... we did everything we could to win the game."

Acting captain Lucas Pantelis agreed with his coach.

"I had a few shots myself," Pantelis said. "It's just one of those things - you can't fault ther players' effort."

"For the whole 90 minutes I feel we gave our all."

"It was just one of those games where we probably dominated 85 percent of the game, but they got a lucky goal and came away with a draw."

Vidmar still refuses to rule out the prospect of finals action.

"No, it's (season) not (over)," he said.

"We'll be fighting right till the end, absolutely."

"Even when we went 1-0 up, I was very confident we would finish off the game, but unfortunately we didn't."

"We had some decent chances as well - maybe on another day we could have had 2-3 (goals)."

"We're going to keep plugging away, we can't throw anything away - we've still got to believe in it."

"I think the group firmly believes in it and if they keep playing like that I'm sure we'll get some more wins."