Western Sydney’s Simon Cox takes a shot on goal with Adelaide United’s Louis D’Arrigo close by at Bankwest Stadium. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images
Western Sydney’s Simon Cox takes a shot on goal with Adelaide United’s Louis D’Arrigo close by at Bankwest Stadium. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Adelaide United's loss likened to Comedy Capers

ADELAIDE United coach Gertjan Verbeek likened his team's 2-5 loss to Western Sydney to comical entertainment from a bygone era.

Santa Claus was also mentioned in his post-game analysis on Friday night.

"When I grew up I looked at a lot of times at Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin and Comedy Capers,'' Verbeek said after the Wanderers belted an out-of-sorts Adelaide.

"The show (on Friday) was Comedy Capers."

Long after the shrill sound of the final whistle the Dutchman sat in the coaches dugout alone at Bankwest Stadium, probably contemplating how his Reds blew a 2-1 lead after 22 minutes.

Adelaide United’s Riley McGree in front of Western Sydney’s Keanu Baccus during the Reds’ 2-5 loss on Friday night.
Adelaide United’s Riley McGree in front of Western Sydney’s Keanu Baccus during the Reds’ 2-5 loss on Friday night.

Adelaide looked to be on its way to another impressive win after Riley McGree equalised from the spot and Ben Halloran added more value to his contract with a smart goal.

However, Verbeek then sensed his side wasn't on song and he reacted during the break.

"I asked them why the frustration, we can still win the game but we have to stop playing for Santa Claus,'' Verbeek said.

"Santa has already been in December, it's now February and I think we don't change anything but we have to do it better.

"It was a little bit better the second half, they worked hard and they tried to make the third goal and then you never know, but we didn't succeed."

Verbeek also alluded to his players wanting to add options to the usual 4-3-3 formation if sides - like the Wanderers - played with five in defence.

The Dutchman revealed Reds players had talked about having two target men before the clash.

"It was a good thing this week that my players for the first time got into a kind of discussion about the strategy, because more teams play with five at the back,'' Verbeek said.

"Sometimes our strikers have to do defensive work, so we tried something else, if we have four at the back and two strikers you have to help each other a lot."

"I think there was some very good things in the way we played football.

"If you see how we made the combinations, our runs and how we created our chances, that, I think, is a good quality.

Adelaide United’s Nikola Mileusni controls the ball during the clash. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images
Adelaide United’s Nikola Mileusni controls the ball during the clash. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

"But you don't always have the ball and then you have to defend.

"(Friday) we had a strategy that wasn't helping us, but next time when we discuss it, I'll have a different opinion.

"So, we'll do it different than (Friday)."

And with Halloran's contract coming to an end in June, and with six A-League clubs chasing his signature, Verbeek wanted to lock the winger down.

Verbeek is seemingly keen to start building towards his second season, with Halloran a key in his future plans as the Dutchman approaches the middle of a two-year deal.

"He's running out of his contract, he's playing very well and he's working hard, but we will see," he said.

Adelaide United’s Michael Marrone and Western Sydney’s Mitch Duke compete for the ball. Pictures: Matt King/Getty Images
Adelaide United’s Michael Marrone and Western Sydney’s Mitch Duke compete for the ball. Pictures: Matt King/Getty Images


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