Reds ready for Boxing Day battle

Adelaide United’s Boxing Day clash with the Wellington Phoenix cannot come soon enough for Jordan Elsey, with the defender relishing the chance to add three valuable points to the Reds’ Christmas stocking.

Having faced the Phoenix once already this season and coming off second best, United are completely aware of the challenge they face at Coopers Stadium this Saturday. 

But with the Reds seemingly out from their slump in form from earlier this campaign, Jordan Elsey believes the improvements that have been made by Adelaide will see them undoubtedly push their New Zealand-based opponents. 

“We’ve been trying to tighten up our defence in the last couple of weeks and I think it’s been working,” Elsey said. “I’m not sure how many goals we’ve conceded in our recent games, but I doubt it’s many. 

“Now it’s just about scoring more goals, so we’ll continue to work on that this week and see if we can put the two together.

“We’re nowhere near our capacity. Maybe it’s a trouble with luck or something, but we’re confident that we can get there soon. 

“We’ll have a closer look at the Phoenix later in the week, but we know they’re going to be tough because they always are. 

“They’re difficult to play against and difficult to break down so we know it’ll be a test.”

In the recent weeks, Elsey has been reintroduced into the starting XI as a result of a hamstring injury sustained by Osama Malik. Elsey himself was previously plagued by injury, which prevented him from playing football for close to two years. 

The Reds’ No. 23 also noted how important it will be for the squad’s confidence to continue on their improved vein of form and give themselves, but most importantly the fans, a belated Christmas gift this weekend. 

“I was out for a while through my injuries and so it’s definitely good to be back playing games and helping the team where I can,” he explained.

“I feel as if I owe it to myself to take the opportunity that’s been presented to me because I was waiting on the side lines for a long time.

“In the A-League, momentum’s a big thing and if you’re winning one game after another, it builds a lot of confidence and the weeks fly by, so that’s what we’re looking for.

“As far as Christmas gifts go, though, I don’t care about (them) as long as we get the three points on Boxing Day.” 

Adelaide United will face Wellington Phoenix in Round 12 of the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season on Saturday, 26 December 2015 at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 4.45pm ACDT (5.15pm AEDT)