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Reds vow to fight for grand final

Soccer

Adelaide United coach Carl Veart says the Reds are full of belief after a goalless draw with Melbourne City in Adelaide in the first leg of the A-League Men’s semi-final.

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United must quickly turn their attention to the return fixture at AAMI Park on Sunday in a bid to reach their first grand final since 2016 when they defeated Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 to record their maiden championship.

The Reds coach said his side had consistently punched well above their weight this campaign and is calling for them to produce the same fight they’ve demonstrated all season.

“We’re one of the smaller clubs, there’s a few of us around the league that have a very different budget to a lot of the big teams,” Veart said.

“But on our day, we’ll fight and I think you saw that tonight and all season – we fight and we don’t give up.

“We try to play an attractive brand of football and if we manage to get the result on Sunday, that would be great.

“The boys should be proud of what we’ve done this season but we still believe we’ve got a lot more to do.”

With the tie hanging in the balance and playing the second leg on their home deck, City appear to have the advantage.

But the minor premiers lost 2-1 to Adelaide at AAMI Park earlier in the season and haven’t beaten a top-four side this campaign – a fact not lost on Veart.

“It’s finals football, there’s pressure on both sides,” he said.

“I suppose the pressure is on them that they still haven’t beaten a top-four side so we’ll go there full of confidence.

“We know we won there earlier in the season so we’ve got good belief in what we’re doing.”

City coach Patrick Kisnorbo also remains confident heading into the second leg, despite not recording a win against the other three teams who finished in the top four.

The minor premiers drew twice and lost once against second-placed Melbourne Victory, as they did against Adelaide, while losing twice and drawing once to Western United, who finished third.

Kisnorbo said achieving back-to-back minor premierships warranted more respect than what City were currently receiving.

“It’s a funny one,” he said. “You say it like it’s a negative but when you look at it, we were consistently the best team over 26 games.

“I don’t like when people say that because it’s disrespectful to the team. Because we’re the second team that’s ever done what we’ve done. So sometimes, teams need to get credited with the achievement.

“But when we focus on tonight, I thought we were excellent.”

-AAP

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