Gombau grateful for Adelaide's nine-day break

Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau is grateful for his side's upcoming nine-day break after coming away with a bruising 3-1 win over Sydney FC.

The long turnaround gives the Reds ample time to nurse several sore spots ahead of next Sunday's encounter with Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium.

After in-form Osama Malik (groin) pulled out before the Sky Blues clash, fellow centre-back Jon McKain sustained a hip flexor injury during the game and was substituted out just before half-time.

Tarek Elrich and Sergio Cirio finished the spiteful contest worse for wear, while Marcelo Carrusca was repeatedly knocked around by a Sydney outfit which conceded 13 first-half fouls and 19 overall to go with five yellow cards in a physical, ill-tempered display.

"We are lucky that we play on Sunday," Gombau said.

"We have nine days which is the most time you can have in A-League.

"With these nine days I hope and wish we can recover some players and be ready to play next week in NZ."

While the extended break couldn't have come at a better time for Adelaide, Gombau conceded he is 'worried' at the mounting injury toll.

"Today was a difficult day for us because a couple of central defenders both had injuries," Gombau said, referring to Malik and McKain.

"Yesterday (Thursday), Malik said after training that he felt he cannot play.

"Honestly I am worried.

"At the moment we have Cirio feeling a little bit (sore) in his muscle, McKain, Malik, (Michael) Zullo and Elrich finished the game but he is with problems."

Some banged-up bodies couldn't mask United's delight following a clinical and comprehensive triumph which saw them leapfrog Sydney and the Central Coast Mariners into fourth spot on the A-League table.

Carrusca set up goals to Fabio Ferreira and Cirio before Bruce Djite iced it in the 88th minute with a fine strike after the Blues threatened to conjure a last-ditch draw when experienced substitute Matt Thompson struck in the 75th.

Following a winless fortnight on the road against title contenders Brisbane Roar and the Western Sydney Wanderers, Gombau refused to downplay the significance of Friday’s bounce-back win at the Reds’ Hindmarsh fortress.

"It was so important to get the three points," Gombau said.

"Before today we had four (mini) finals (left); now we have three.

"To win this game at home brings us confidence ... you can go and play away (feeling)


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