Eugene Galekovic says maintaining harmony among out-of-favour players is now the biggest challenge confronting Adelaide United.
The Reds’ clean bill of health means competition for spots in their starting line up is the fiercest it’s been for a long time.
But while Adelaide’s surplus of available players is a welcome headache for the top-two outfit, captain Eugene Galekovic said keeping overlooked players in a positive frame of mind has become a major priority.
“If you look from the coach’s perspective I think today was the first time in five years that we’ve had every single player on the park training,” Galekovic said.
“So there are going to be 12 or 13 players missing out every week and it’s about Kossie (coach John Kosmina) trying to man-manage the players.”
The Reds have enjoyed a superb start to the A-League season with seven wins and a draw from their first 10 matches catapulting them to second spot on the table, just one point behind league leaders Central Coast (23 points).
And according to Galekovic, one of the driving forces behind Adelaide’s early-season rise has been their defence.
Kosmina’s men boast the third best defensive record in the competition with only nine goals conceded so far this campaign.
“I think this year it’s probably the least amount of work I’ve had to do since I’ve come to Adelaide,” said the veteran goalkeeper.
“Which has been good, and credit to the players.
“Defensively we’ve been doing well and keeping them out so hopefully it continues.”
Adelaide’s next opponents are Wellington Phoenix, who were left reeling last week after suffering an upset loss to cellar dweller Sydney in New Zealand.
The Phoenix have only beaten Adelaide twice in 10 trips to Hindmarsh Stadium, the venue for this week’s encounter, but Galekovic warned his team-mates against complacency based on that record.
“Three points (against Wellington) is vital, it’s our home ground and we’ve got a good record against them but records don’t really mean anything unless we work hard and play to our potential,” he said.