Verbeek: Adelaide’s worst performance of the season

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Adelaide United coach Gertjan Verbeek says his club’s 5-1 loss to Western United is the worst performance he has seen during his time in charge.

The Reds slumped to their third consecutive loss and were completely dominated by their Victorian counterparts who profited from a woeful defence.

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The defence has conceded 12 goals in the last three matches, including a 5-2 away drubbing to Western Sydney Wanderers a fortnight ago.

Verbeek was unforgiving in the analysis of his side’s performance, admitting that they had an off day.

’’Disastrous. 5-1 and you can’t say we were okay,’’ he said.

’’They were better and we had an off day.

’’If you see how we lose the ball today – that can’t happen in the A-League.’’

The loss removes Adelaide from the top six and finals position – a quite remarkable turnaround considering the Reds were eying a top-two finish a couple of weeks ago.

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Western have now scored 11 goals in two matches and have leapfrogged their opponents into sixth position, despite going all of February without a goal or win.

The two sides played out a seven-goal thriller back in January, which Adelaide won 4-3 but this time, it was Western’s turn for revenge.

Mark Rudan was proud of the way his players executed the game plan, admitting they had analysed Adelaide’s system and found a number of weaknesses to exploit.

’’What we have seen with Adelaide is they don’t veer too much from the way they play,’’ he said.

’’We set up different traps all over the park and that certainly was part of it.

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Josh Risdon provided four assists from the right to completely expose Michael Maria and Adelaide’s left side and Rudan said it was all part of the plan.

’’I am always respectful of the opposition and I am not here to talk down on them,’’ he said.

’’But it is our job as coaches to find solutions, look at the positives and negatives of them and we thought that Adelaide’s left was the right area to attack.’’

Western has scored the most goals so far in 2020 but they do not have the opportunity to build on their goalscoring form next week as they have a bye.

Meanwhile, Adelaide hosts the Newcastle Jets in what is shaping up to be a season-defining tie if they still possess finals ambitions.

Feature image credit: Western United

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Euan James
Lover of all things football. Covering Adelaide United in 2019/20 for TFS!