Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau says his team won’t be afraid of Melbourne Victory in Friday night’s A-League blockbuster.
Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau says there’s nothing to fear about arch rivals Melbourne Victory.
While the Victory’s stunning season-opening win sent a shudder through the rest of the A-League, Gombau was unmoved.
“They did very well,” Gombau told reporters in Adelaide on Thursday of Victory’s 4-1 trouncing of Western Sydney Wanderers.
“But we are not afraid from this.
“We also played a good game in Brisbane. We know very well our capacity for what we can do.”
Gombau’s Reds host the Victory in a Friday night grudge match tipped to set a new record crowd for an A-League match in Adelaide.
The fixture will be played at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval before a crowd expected to swell towards 40,000 spectators – the Reds’ biggest-ever crowd is 25,039 against Sydney FC in 2007, also at the historic oval.
Gombau said the location added significance to the encounter: he wants to convert the casual spectator into permanent fans of the Reds.
“A lot of people that would not come usually to see our games, tomorrow they will come because it’s at Adelaide Oval and against Melbourne Victory,” he said.
“We have just one (game at Adelaide Oval) and we want to take this opportunity and bring more fans to our game.”
The Reds, who opened their campaign with a 2-1 away against defending champion Brisbane Roar, have a poor recent record against the Victory – they couldn’t defeat them in three clashes last season, conceding nine goals to the Melbourners.
Gombau warned his outfit were much improved from last season, and better adjusted to his demands for a possession-based attacking game plan.
But Victory coach Kevin Muscat said Adelaide’s attacking bent would gift his side opportunities.
“From some aspects you could argue that helps us,” Muscat told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday.
“We’re happy for teams to have a go at us and return fire immediately.
“We’re very comfortable with where we sit with our physical condition to go punch for punch.
“They (Adelaide) did press quite high against Brisbane last week and got some rewards from that.
“We know enough about them. It’s more about what we do, to be honest.”