Adelaide United have lost another A-League battle with a 4-2 defeat to Western Sydney, but interim coach Michael Valkanis says their war isn’t over.
Valkanis implored his players to fight to save Adelaide’s season which dipped to a new low on Sunday in their listless home loss to the Wanderers.
While still fourth on the ladder, the Reds stumbled to a third consecutive loss and remain reeling from John Kosmina’s sudden resignation as coach last Monday.
“It has been a very negative week and it has probably finished on the note that it started,” Valkanis said.
The caretaker coach said his immediate priority was to keep United united, after the Wanderers skipped three points clear in third spot.
“We need to all rally together and be united and push forward,” Valkanis said.
“We need to reinforce some positive outlook into our game and find our feet again … we need to lift our heads up.
“We have got another eight games – there is enough doom and gloom this week with what has gone on … we lost the game, we lost the battle, not the war, there is still plenty to fight for.”
The Wanderers’ stunning debut season continued with a clinical triumph at Hindmarsh Stadium, the newcomers now just one point shy of second-placed Melbourne Victory.
The Wanderers logged their fourth consecutive victory, sparked by livewire Youssouf Hersi scoring two goals and setting up another to Mark Bridge, while Mateo Poljak also scored.
Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic hailed the “great win” for a club now rated genuine championship contenders.
But Popovic said carrying rising expectations wouldn’t burden the newcomers.
“We are a close-knit group, a club that has high aspirations – we want to be the best,” he said.
“And slowly we are taking steps forward.
“I don’t see it as anything special, it’s just the way the Wanderers work.
“And we as a club are very happy with how we play our football, how we conduct ourselves, and moving forward there is a lot more room for improvement on and off the park.
“Now we have shown a great consistency in our results – four straight wins, any team that could achieve that would be pleased.
“But we’re not looking ahead too far.”