Adelaide United coach Ivan Karlović is keeping the faith in his charges despite a shock 4-1 loss to last-place Western Sydney Wanderers which will see Adelaide’s finals hopes go down to the wire.

Adelaide United went in as heavy favourites against the win-less Wanderers yet emerged from the game with more questions than answers after the 4-1 drubbing exposed holes in a normally defensively-strong Adelaide side.

Wanderers allowed Adelaide to have the lion-share of possession as they dropped deep in defence and held true to their structure which robbed Adelaide of their counterattacking instinct and natural speed up forward.

Embed from Getty Images

Head coach Ivan Karlović recognised the need to adjust United’s game-plan to be more adaptable when faced with a stubborn opposition.

“It was a different challenge for us because we’re coming up against a side that is dropping off and giving us a lot of the ball,” he said.

“We have to start to make the play a little bit more and keep the ball moving quickly and to find those little spaces but I felt at times we were trying to force it too much with their numbers behind the ball and it played into their hands.

We were second best all day and deserved what we go out of the game, you can’t expect to get a result out of the game with poor skill errors, no intensity, no desire,” he said.

“They had a hunger, they’re a side which hasn’t had a win all year and they were desperate for a win and unless you match that desperation, you’re always going to be second-best and I didn’t think we matched that.”

Article continues after this

Embed from Getty Images

The loss meant Adelaide missed the opportunity to go equal second with Sydney FC but it brings with it a scarier prospect of missing finals altogether.

Adelaide finds itself outside of the top four spots with only two games to go facing danger games against a resurgent Newcastle Jets outfit and finals-bound Brisbane Roar.

United will need to rely on winning to see them through to their first-ever finals birth because, with the exception of Brisbane, all teams have a far superior goal difference compared to Adelaide.

Despite their task becoming considerably harder, Karlović isn’t concerning himself with doomsday predictions.

“This season has been fantastic so far, we’ve got two games to go and I dare say if we get two wins out of that we should be there in the finals…it’s not doom-and-gloom, it’s a poor day at the office and we haven’t had too many of those so far, in life you have that, everyone has a bad day and unfortunately today was our bad day,” he said.

“They’re a good group, it’s just a bump in the road for us,” he said.

SHARE
A student at University of South Australia who hopes his writing disguises his lack of sporting prowess and a fan who masquerades his choice in mediocre teams as being hipster