Adelaide’s James Troisi battles against Victory’s Storm Roux Picture SARAH REED
Adelaide’s James Troisi battles against Victory’s Storm Roux Picture SARAH REED

Verbeek upbeat, Kurz disappointed

THE body language in the post-match press conference said everything about the 90 minutes that preceded it.

Gertjan Verbeek carried an air of authority and quiet satisfaction as he strode in to face the media after the most complete performance of his short time as Adelaide United coach.

Rarely one to outwardly display his emotions, the Dutchman was justifiably proud of his players, who had blown traditional rival Melbourne Victory away in a stunning 3-1 success on Saturday night.

By contrast, his predecessor looked a shadow of the man who had charismatically led the Reds to an FFA Cup win and the cusp of a grand final berth last campaign.

Marco Kurz coach of the Victory during the 3-1 loss o Adelaide United.
Marco Kurz coach of the Victory during the 3-1 loss o Adelaide United.

Marco Kurz was scathing in his assessment of his side's display on his maiden return to Hindmarsh Stadium since the end of his two-year United tenure.

But while visibly deflated and defeated following Victory's lacklustre performance, the German mentor was complimentary of the progress of his former club.

"We are really disappointed about our game," Kurz said.

"The best (thing) in the first half was ... that we only conceded one goal.

"If you start in this way games, you'll never win one in the future.

"But they (the Reds) were better, they were sharper, they were running more, they wanted to win the duels.

"We set up a good culture here.

"But at the moment they perform well and congrats from my position.

"It (Adelaide) will always (be) in my mind and in my heart.

"Now I know how it feels when you lose in Hindmarsh."

Riley McGree produced another powerful display in the week he was slapped with an international ban for engaging in unprofessional conduct while on Olyroos duty.

The SA-born playmaker fired in a matchwinning brace, to take his tally to six strikes in as many outings, and was a thorn in Victory's side throughout with his energy and creativity.

Riley McGree celebrates his second goal with Nikola Mileusnic Picture: SARAH REED
Riley McGree celebrates his second goal with Nikola Mileusnic Picture: SARAH REED

Winter recruit Michael Maria grabbed his first Reds goal to re-establish his side's lead midway through the second half, immediately after Ola Toivonen's leveller for the visitors.

Just as impressive was the style of the host's victory, as they took their breakneck transitions and seamless link-up play to the next level on their way to a fifth-straight triumph in all competitions.

Verbeek described it as his side's most rounded display of a campaign that has already delivered silverware and appears destined to include a push for more.

"Today we performed over the whole game very good, we were very dominant," said Verbeek, who led Adelaide to FFA Cup glory last month.

"We were attacking with the ball and without the ball.

"That gives a lot of problems for the opponent.

"Even when they scored the goal (to make it) 1-1, immediately we reacted in a good way and we scored the second one.

"They are still hungry and you see the third goal.

"We dominated the game and I think the best team has won today.

"These guys believe in the plan, they believe in each other."

Nikola Mileusnic in action during the Reds’ 3-1 win against Melbourne Victory.
Nikola Mileusnic in action during the Reds’ 3-1 win against Melbourne Victory.

Verbeek claimed he had not asked United players from last season for inside information on how Kurz set his team up or the tactical instructions he was likely to give individuals.

He said McGree's ability to block out a challenging period off the pitch demonstrated his resilience and immense value to the club.

"Riley is for a while already a closed book," Verbeek said.

"He accepted the punishment. I'm glad he's here.

"He was searching for a coach who is using him and his quality.

"Even when (fellow recruit) James (Troisi) was coming, I knew that James could probably play more positions than only the 10 position and I think Riley is the best as a 10.

"He's so strong and so fast and so hungry.

"He made two goals again, so he's doing a great job."

Verbeek said winger Ben Halloran, who missed the Victory clash due to a hip injury, was a chance to return for next Sunday's home meeting with Wellington Phoenix.

News Corp Australia

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