FFA Cup Final for the fans – Gombau

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Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau has lauded his team’s achievement of making it to the FFA Cup final, saying that being one of the last two teams remaining in the competition is a satisfying feeling.

The Reds sealed their spot in the duel against Perth Glory by beating a lacklustre Central Coast Mariners outfit 3-2 at Coopers Stadium on Wednesday night.

The result is a continuation of the good form the club has shown in the early parts of the season, and Gombau believes that the United fans are appreciating what has been on show.

“[Making the cup final] is important, and I am satisfied for the club, for the players and for the fans,” Gombau said after the Mariners clash.

“In the end it’s a competition, there are two teams, and we are in the last two, we need to be satisfied.

“We need to work hard to try to win, and bring this trophy home,” he said.

Adelaide United hasn’t fought for any silverware since losing the A-League Grand Final to Melbourne Victory at the end of the 2008/2009 season, but will be buoyed by the home advantage when the final is contested against Perth Glory on 16 December.

However Gombau isn’t counting his chickens before the eggs hatch, taking a circumspect approach to the fixture, which is true to form for the Spanish tactician.

“At home always is an advantage, but also we need to win,” he said.

“In the history of football there are lots of teams that play finals at home [and lose], like the World Cup this year in Brazil.

“It’s a game, it’s 90 minutes, 11 players versus 11, and we need to work hard to win,” he said.

One area in which Adelaide may struggle before the FFA Cup final is player fatigue, with Gombau showing reluctance to modify his winning formula early in the season.

The team that beat the Mariners on Wednesday had only two changes in it from the clash against Sydney FC the preceding Friday, and both of those changes were forced, with Bruce Djite suffering an injury and Craig Goodwin being cup-tied. In stark contrast, the Mariners made eight changes.

Whether the extra workload will cost Adelaide points as the middle of the season approaches remains to be seen, but their opponents in the FFA Cup Final – Perth Glory – are in exactly the same boat. They happen to be sitting top of the A-League ladder.

In the meantime, Gombau and his charges will have to set their sights to Saturday when they host the in-form Wellington Phoenix. A victory plus other results going their way could see the Reds jump above Perth into first place and on track for one of the club’s most memorable seasons yet.

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