Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau says his side has had an unsuccessful season on results measures after getting eliminated in week one of the A-League finals losing 1-0 to the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford.
The Reds, who haven’t triumphed since January 2009 at Central Coast Stadium, dominated the match with 66% of the possession but much like the round three match on the coast which was also won 1-0 by the Mariners, Adelaide failed to fire in the final third.
Gombau has indicated he will not go on an big off-season spending spree but instead keep the faith in his current squad who gradually adapted to his possession-based system as the season wore on.
"To be finishing sixth is not successful," the Spaniard said.
"I'm am satisfied in the way that we are playing, today the players knew very well what they needed to do, what football (to play), the players know the movement."
However Gombau was emphatic about how be defined success.
"Successful is to be in the final, to play in the Asian Champions League.
"We played good football for me yes, but not successful."
When questioned about where Adelaide need to strengthen in the off-season, Gombau didn’t point to any particular area.
"A lot of things but not in terms of players, I think we need to sit down and speak but I think we can improve a lot. I am satisfied (with the squad) and so is the club."
The ex-Barcelona youth team coach lamented the unavailability of two key players in the Michael Marrone and Tarek Elrich, one due to injury and the latter because of suspension.
"Marrone was injured, he was a player at that moment who was very important for us because with Marrone and Tarek (Elrich) one on each side, with Malik playing central defender we had three or four clean sheets and that is important because if the other team doesn’t score (you have and advantage).
"We had bad luck that Marrone got injured and after Elrich got the suspension we needed to make some changes (before the game) but we didn’t lose the momentum (despite recent losses).
Gombau wasn’t totally despondent after the one goal loss.
"I think that we played well, we had the ball, we tried to open the five defenders and four midfielders that Central Coast used, they know well the way they are playing with playing this counter-attack.
"In the end we had a chance to score, they had a chance, they scored one of their chances and we didn’t score. That’s football.
"(I’m) very happy with the ways that the players play… I’m very happy with the effort.
The former Kitchee boss in Hong Kong wouldn’t be pushed on a controversial moment late in the game when Adelaide was awarded a free kick. The play was deep in the Mariners half but after Awer Mabil was fouled Ben Williams didn’t allow any advantage despite the fact the ball seem to fall near the substitute.
"You can say play the advantage and we play or it can be foul but the referee did what he thought he needed to do and he called a foul, so it was a foul."
"He has made his decision and we need to accept it,” stated Gombau when questioned about the moment. Adelaide were unable to make use of the free kick and now look towards season 2014/15.