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Beware the rising Phoenix as Reds eye record unbeaten run

Soccer

A season that started with such hesitancy and disappointment has suddenly flourished into a sea of success for Adelaide United.

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While simply avoiding last place appeared an optimistic aim some months ago, improved results have changed the outlook for the now-second-placed Reds, who have the title firmly in their sights.

Adelaide United travels out of the country to tackle Wellington at the Westpac Stadium tomorrow.

While New Zealand has not traditionally been a happy hunting ground for Adelaide, the Reds’ recent form means history counts for little.

United have remarkably gone undefeated in their past 13 A League games, allowing their catapult up the table.

And should they avoid defeat this weekend, The Reds will achieve the longest unbeaten streak in their A-League history.

Adelaide’s rise has not been lost on the players, with Dylan McGowan and Stevan Mauk this week happy to talk up the stunning revival.

“We have worked hard on tightening up defensively and the attacking side of our football has started to click, but that all comes with confidence and we are flying at the moment”, a euphoric McGowan stated.

“We have a squad that is playing very well, and we will need that to continue to keep this run going.

“At Adelaide United, it is all about team spirit, and we know we are a very good team”.

Midfielder Stefan Mauk, who was awarded the A-League’s young player of the month for February, echoed McGowan’s comments.

“Having this amazing run of results has been fantastic and helped me too,” he said.

“Coming into a new team, I’ve been really excited to be playing here and I’ve been trying to show my new teammates and coaching staff what I can do”.

Since his arrival in January, Mauk has brought a refreshing energy to United’s central midfield allowing for a more potent and damaging attack.

His poise and awareness on the ball has made him a danger from any position, while his eagerness to track back has assisted United defensively.

Mauk’s presence will be appreciated tomorrow against an opposition that will look to halt Adelaide’s movement in attack.

Adelaide’s opponents the Wellington Phoenix have endured a difficult few months in the A-League, only tasting success twice since early December.

Those victories however have come in recent weeks against top clubs Western Sydney and Melbourne City, allowing the Phoenix to enter with some confidence.

The last time these two sides faced, Adelaide comfortably defeated the Phoenix 3-0 in what proved to be a masterclass.

Wellington, like Adelaide, loves to attack and impose themselves on every game.

While the home side will certainly be intent on minimising Adelaide’s attacking threats, they won’t want to stray far from their own game style. This should result in a relatively open, attacking game of football with the possibility of plenty of goals and action.

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