Fighting spirit alone not enough for Durante
Western United defender Andrew Durante has praised his side’s fighting spirit but conceded they paid the price for their defensive lapses against Adelaide United.
The Reds won a thrilling seven goal shoot-out at Whitten Oval on Sunday afternoon 4-3 to move ahead of Western United on the Hyundai A-League table into fifth place.
The match proved a see-sawing affair with the Reds twice taking the lead before being pegged back by a Western United that drew level in the early stages of each half.
However, a 79th minute strike from Nathan Konstandopoulos ultimately proved decisive for the Reds as they notched back-to-back wins for the first time since November.
While his side’s never-say-die attitude earned plenty of plaudits, Durante told Fox Sports after the match that his side could not expect to ship four goals and still win the match.
“We always show fight and I think that is a trademark of this football team that no matter what the score is we always show fight to come back in,” Durante said.
“I guess that is a positive but to concede three goals in the first 20 minutes at home is not good enough.
“We managed to get ourselves level [but it was] heartbreaking at the end because I thought we were controlling the game in the second half."
The final score put a dampener on the celebrations for Western United’s star striker Besart Berisha, who delivered a brace for his side in his 200th Hyundai A-League appearance.
He was pragmatic about not getting the fairytale moment to mark his milestone achievement.
“I think we cannot be happy because of the way we defended and everything,” he said.
“Of course, I am happy to have achieved this two hundred game and, of course, to keep scoring but you wish you could win the game.
“But the way we played today we just lacked belief and we don’t deserve it I guess.”
Adelaide United’s Riley McGree, who netted his side’s third goal to take his tally to eight goals from 11 games, sought to focus on the positives of his side’s four goal haul – their best return in a single game this season.
“It’s a real confidence booster as an individual but also for the team,” he explained.
“We got forward, we created chances and we got a goal at the end to win it – so it’s great.”
He added: “We were a bit sloppy at times and there are things that we can fix definitely. We shouldn’t have gone back level but that’s football and we got back and did get the goal to get the result.”
He also cited the impact of returning midfielder James Troisi, who played a crucial role in his side’s second goal with a defence splitting pass in behind the Western United backline.
“He’s a quality player and he brings quality out in everyone else and that’s great,” McGree said.
Newcastle Jets v Western United
Saturday, 1 February 2020
McDonald Jones Stadium
Kick off: 4.00pm AEDT
Adelaide United v Melbourne City
Saturday, 1 February 2020
Kick-off: 7.00pm local, 7:30pm AEDT