Adelaide United FC coach Josep Gombau is not giving much away as the Reds prepare to plot Melbourne Victory’s downfall tomorrow night at Etihad Stadium in Round 7 of the Hyundai A-League 2013/14 Season.
Attempting to become the first Adelaide United coach to secure three points at Etihad Stadium since a John Kosmina led outfit triumphed 1-0 in Round 8 of the 2006/07 campaign, Gombau was somewhat subdued on the eve of what will be the latest chapter in the Hyundai A-League’s original rivalry.
Aside from the fact the Reds’ record at Etihad Stadium does not make for favourable reading, the main reason behind Gombau keeping his cards close to his chest is in all likeliness due to the options he has up his sleeve at the selection table.
Currently only injured defender Daniel Bowles and reserve goalkeeper Paul Izzo are unavailable through injury, leaving Gombau with positive selection headaches on how best to try and combat a Victory team that is back at home after consecutive losses from their Sydney road double.
Left back Michael Zullo returns from the Socceroos, defender Nigel Boogaard and midfielder Cameron Watson are available after suspension, while striker Bruce Djite has been declared fit after missing last weekend’s draw with Perth Glory because of hamstring tightness.
But while there is the possible temptation to make changes, Gombau hinted there was a chance he may go with the same line up as last week, including Cassio who was impressive in his first 90 minute shift since returning from injury.
“I think that we played very well last week. We need to check what we’ll do but I am satisfied with the first eleven that played last week…maybe we put one or two in, maybe not,” Gombau said.
“I am happy because I have the whole squad except for Daniel Bowles and that is important for us to have players where I can choose who can play – this is good for the team.”
The teams fought out a 2-2 draw when they last met back in Round 2 with Melbourne finishing the game the stronger, however Gombau dismisses any suggestion that it will follow a similar pattern tomorrow night and that the Victory has a psychological edge.
“Every game is different and it is true that in the second half they (Melbourne Victory) caused us problems but the game before we played with nine men and we were tired…every game is different, we can go there tomorrow and we can win,” Gombau said.
After playing some good football without reward in the opening six rounds, Gombau and his players are confident positive results for the work they have done will start to come, but one thing he is not going to do is start steering away from what he is building at the club.
“For me I know very well the place we want to go and what I need to do to arrive there, and in training we are doing well,” Gombau said.
“I know the situation is difficult but this situation is something I expect when you arrive and want to change everything – you have this risk and I am satisfied with the work that we are doing.”
“I can understand that the fans want to win and I can understand that they could be disappointed and maybe think that what we want to do isn’t realistic but this is their point of view.
“I need to respect them (the fans) because they are the ones that come to support us and pay a ticket to come to the games, and I want that they will be happy but I don’t want to change anything that I don’t believe in.”
“I came here to do a job and I will do the job.”