Adelaide United coach John Kosmina says the Reds will let their football do the talking in Monday’s home clash with Sydney FC.
Kosmina expects the Sky Blues to try and unsettle his side at Hindmarsh Stadium on New Year’s Eve but said his charges would resist the urge to retaliate.
“It’s not about getting into fights with the opposition, it’s about trying to outplay them,” he said.
Sydney, under new coach Frank Farina, climbed off the bottom of the A-League ladder with a hard-fought 1-0 win over the table-topping Central Coast Mariners last time out.
Kosmina said the rejuvenated Sky Blues were a better team than the one that went down to Adelaide 2-1 at Allianz Stadium last month.
“(Against the Mariners) they moved the ball around and kept it better than they have at any other stage this season,” he added.
Second-placed United are facing their third game in 11 days, but Kosmina said fitness was not an issue in the wake of losses to Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers.
“Is it more mental fatigue than it is physical? We’ve got a number of players coming back from injury now,” he said.
“I think the last couple of weeks will draw their focus back in and it’s probably a better assessment of where we are as a group as well with how things have panned out the last couple of weeks.
“The season was almost going too well and maybe we needed a kick up the backside.”
Kosmina is set to recall defender Iain Ramsay back into his starting line-up, while Cameron Watson is expected to enter the midfield in place of Osama Malik.
Sydney star Alessandro Del Piero will not make the trip to Adelaide after being ruled out with leg soreness.