A-League backlog no excuse for Adelaide

January 6, 2009
By Sam Lienert

Adelaide United coach Aurelio Vidmar says the club's achievements in international competitions this summer will not be an excuse or a compensation if they fail to claim the A-League title.

The Reds dropped out of top spot on Tuesday night with a 1-0 loss to Melbourne Victory at Telstra Dome, with Vidmar saying his team looked flat and were lucky not to suffer a bigger defeat.

To those outside the club, they seemed to have a ready-made excuse, given they had played another match just three days earlier.

Their unprecedented efforts for an Australian club in making the Asian Champions League (ACL) final and finishing fifth in the Club World Cup have meant a crammed schedule of matches and most pundits were expecting it to take a toll at some stage.

The loss to the Victory was the second of five games in 16 days for Adelaide as they catch up on matches postponed during their overseas campaigns.

But Vidmar said his players could not afford to cite those factors as a reason for their drop in intensity.

"I'm not going to say that just because of the backlog of games that there's an excuse why we're feeling flat or the performance (against Melbourne) was flat, we've just got to bounce back," Vidmar said.

The coach also reminded his squad that despite being justifiably proud of their achievements, they had not actually won anything yet.

"We can't live off the success, if you want to call it success, with the games that we played in the Club World Cup and Asian Champions League," Vidmar said.

"Success is when you actually win something.

"I don't want to go down the path of losing 1-0 to a superior team and saying that's acceptable.

"The only way to succeed is to win trophies and we just need to get back to what we were doing very well at the beginning of the year and the middle of the year.

"I don't think we've lost for five or six weeks, maybe that's a nice little slap in the face, we'll certainly see how we bounce back on Friday."

United play bottom-placed Newcastle at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night, again after only a three-day break.

After falling two points behind the Victory on the ladder, Vidmar said nothing short of a win would satisfy him against the Jets.

Midfielder Kristian Sarkies is in doubt for the clash, after spraining his ankle against Melbourne.