Adelaide interim coach Michael Valkanis has defended his actions after being ejected from his side’s 1-0 win over Melbourne Victory on Friday.
Five yellow cards were brandished to Adelaide players by referee Jarred Gillett in the first half, which prompted Valkanis’ frustration to boil over just prior to the interval.
Winger Iain Ramsay’s booking for dissent was the tipping point for Valkanis as Gillett stopped the match to consult with his fourth official regarding the 38-year-old’s furious remonstrating.
Gillett sent Valkanis from the ground before Reds striker Jeronimo Neumann scored the contest’s solitary goal as the caretaker boss was still making his way up the Hindmarsh Stadium tunnel.
Valkanis did not see who scored the goal but was thrilled to hear the roar of the crowd when the Reds took the lead.
“It’s the passionate side of me, I don’t think it’s going to change – I was exactly like that as a player so I just had a go at one of the decisions and off I went,” Valkanis said.
“It’s going to be hard to change that passionate side of me.”
When quizzed on his final thoughts on the overall standard of refereeing, Valkanis was jovial in response.
“It was good,” he quipped.
Despite having to watch the remaining 45 minutes on television, Valkanis hoped the passion he displayed would spread to his players, who he praised for showing similar spirit on the park.
“To tell you the truth, I would love this team to be passionate like they were tonight,” Valkanis said.
“I really wanted the players to show that passion and aggression to want to win the game and that’s the way we want to see Adelaide United playing until the end.
“That’s the only way to have a winning mentality and move forwards, is to have that passion.
“It was an important win for the club. We needed to have this win because we’ve been through quite a bit in the last couple of weeks.”
Friday night’s win halted a three-game losing streak for the Reds and ensured they reapplied the pressure to the teams at the top of the A-League table.
The victory also helped United to bounce back from a rough two weeks that saw former coach John Kosmina resign before the side was thrashed 4-2 by the Western Sydney Wanderers last Sunday.
After highlighting the grudge match with Melbourne as having the potential spark to reignite the club’s stuttering season and push for higher honours, Valkanis was delighted with his side’s response.
“I think it (the win) showed character and shows the players as a group, the whole club and all the supporters, what we can do if we all work together for one common thing, and that is to play and do well in the finals,” Valkanis said.
“It’s going to take hard work but it just starts here. We spoke about it with the players that we begin our journey today.
“We have to play like every game is a final, if we are going to be prepared for finals.
“This win will make a big difference for the whole club moving forwards.”