Adelaide United's Spanish coach Josep Gombau is confident his side's free-flowing style will make them a force in the A-League this season.

Adelaide making progress under new boss

October 27, 2013
By Ian McCullough

Josep Gombau remains confident his Catalonian revolution of Adelaide United will make the club an A-League force this year.

Gambau helped oversee the progress of some of the finest football players of the modern era during his time as a Barcelona academy coach and is now bringing a touch of the Camp Nou to Hindmarsh Stadium.

The Reds slipped to their first defeat of the season on Saturday when they went down 1-0 to Central Coast at Bluetongue Stadium.

But despite the loss it was a highly encouraging performance against the champions with Gombau's insistence on building from the back and playing through midfield a stark contrast to the more direct fare served up by Adelaide sides in previous years.

Key to the side's approach are former Barcelona trainees Sergio Cirio and Isaias who both produced eye-catching performances against the Mariners.

Gombau said he was satisfied with the Reds' progress in his three games in charge and backed Cirio and Isaias, who played for Espanyol in La Liga, to keep improving.

"Cirio plays very well, he can play as a winger, midfielder or a striker and Isaias is a very calm and composed footballer," Gombau said.

"Cirio can play the three positions, No.7, No.11 and No.9 very well. In Spain he usually played out wide, but I am very satisfied with what he can do for the side, he works very hard."

Gombau cut his teeth as a coach at the age of just 16 when he became the full-time coach of Amposta, a local Catalan side that plays in the fifth tier of Spanish football.

It was there he attained his professional coaching qualifications and came to the attention of Barcelona who recruited him in 2003 to work at the club's fabled Le Masia academy, which lists Anders Iniesta, Carlos Puyol, Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez as former graduates.

In 2009 the 37-year-old was appointed technical director of Barcelona's international academy in Dubai, before moving to Hong Kong where he enjoyed a successful three-year spell with Kitchee.

And now he's determined to bring a taste of the Camp Nou to the A-League and urged the Adelaide supporters to be patient.

"We obviously want to win and when we lose it can make the fans that don't understand what we are trying to do upset," he said.

"They look at the result and may say we don't play well or create chances. But we are on the right path to something very good that will arrive soon.

"Day by day we are more comfortable with the ball at our feet. Our goal is to play the one style with every player in the team being happy to play this way."

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