John Kosmina is hoping the return of key players to Adelaide United’s first team will help them bounce back from their defeat to Central Coast.
The Reds entered the match in Gosford with a chance to join the Mariners on 35 points at the top of the A-League ladder, despite having lost last weekend to the Melbourne Heart.
However, the visitors let the opportunity slip through their hands, despite taking the lead courtesy of a left-foot strike from Daniel Bowles in the 39th minute.
“We have got healthy bodies coming back,” Adelaide coach Kosmina said.
“Marcelo (returning from an adductor injury) had a good 20 minutes, he has been out for three weeks. He will come straight back in, whether he could have lasted 90 (minutes) was always going to be debatable.”
Kosmina also confirmed the return of two Socceroos to the starting line-up might not be far away.
“Jon McKain has got some good match fitness now (McKain played 16 minutes off the bench) and we have got Bruce Djite (groin injury) not far away.
While not having Carrusca, Djite and McKain is significant, Kosmina was under no illusions about the most influential player the Reds were missing .
“We miss Fabio (Ferreira, groin), really, to be frank,” Kosmina said.
Noting the influence of the Portugese winger, Kosmina added: “Taking nothing away from Evan Kostopoulos or Iain Ramsay, Fabio has scored a few goals and he has set a few up as well. His pace and his composure has caused teams problems.”
Kosmina, in stating the Mariners were now ‘the team to beat’, conceded at times the execution of the basics were letting his side down.
“If you keep turning the ball over like that you are going to build pressure on yourself and eventually you are going to start to feel the pinch physically and mentally.
“That’s what started to happen late in the second half.
“We turned the ball over way to cheaply in the first half and we went in a goal up.”