Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau has played down the significance of Friday night's 2-0 loss to Newcastle saying his side is still full of confidence heading into the Hyundai A-League finals.
The Reds dominated possession and territory in the final round clash with the Jets but were unable to convert their pressure into points as Newcastle grabbed a goal in each half to keep their slim Hyundai A-League finals hopes alive.
Despite the loss, which has all but scuppered the Reds' chance of a top two finish, the Adelaide coach said that it wouldn't affect his side's motivation going into the finals.
“Even though we have lost this game we need to take the good things that we have done and learn from the mistakes. For me, we played a good game,” Gombau said after the match.
“Every game is different. The players know the finals better than me because they have played in the club for a long time.
“The finals is just one game and anything can happen so everyone will be extremely motivated to play this game.”
The result against Newcastle could have been very different had Adelaide taken some early chances when they were controlling the tempo of the match, and again when they were on top just after the half-time interval.
“The performance I am satisfied with, it is just that we don't find the net,” Gombau said.
“We create three chances in the first half and the second half we had three more and I think if we had of scored one of these chances the game would have changed.
“But I am satisfied with the way the team played.”
Gombau rolled the dice at half-time by switching from a four-man defensive line to a back three and bringing on attackers Jeronimo and Awer Mabil. It sparked some more venom into the Reds front third but the Jets were able to scramble to keep a clean sheet.
“The second half we played with risk, we played with three at the back trying to score the goal that would put us in the game and from there for us to win, because for us it was very important to win today,” he said.
“So we went for it, and in the end we lost the game, but I am satisfied with the effort and the way that we played, playing away, playing with three defenders, taking a risk, having more of the ball, creating chances.”
The Spanish coach also said his side would be able to extract plenty of confidence and positives for their finals campaign as the match with Newcastle was played with all the desperation of a post-season game.
“We can take a lot from this game, the last six or seven games for our team has been like finals.”
“We weren't in the top six, and we needed to be. And we start to play like finals. When you play away it is more difficult.
“Newcastle did well in the way that they wanted to play and they scored the two goals that gives them a little bit of a chance to make the finals if Sydney don't win.
“We will think to next week and after the weekend we will know what has happened and we will know the team that we will play and start to work towards that.”comments