Talking points preview: Adelaide United vs City
After a rather disappointing performance against a Wanderers side who have found it difficult to pick up points this season, there will be no time to waste in bouncing back as we take on finals-hopefuls Adelaide United tomorrow evening.
Dario Vidosic will face his first proper test this week in terms of juggling player fitness with games coming in such quick succession while determining which changes to make to get the squad firing yet again.
If our City girls are to get back on track and keep up the pace with league leaders Sydney FC and Western United, they must forget about the weekend result and focus on their football. Defeating an up-and-down Adelaide side on the road will do wonders for confidence leading into the Melbourne Derby.
Here are three things to look out for this Wednesday night:
Get Hannah Wilkinson in the game
A goal-scoring machine, no doubt, Hannah Wilkinson proved her talent time and time again last season in what was a fantastic season for the Kiwi striker. But is this squad built for a player of her type?
Of course, Maria Rojas started the season incredibly, turning defenders inside out while bagging a few goals in the meantime. It is not surprising that the game plan has to change when bringing in Hannah Wilkinson who plays as a target-player, often making the most of chances from support players.
We will certainly need those support players such as Bryleeh Henry and Rhianna Pollicina to find the imposing striker in the box. We all know what will happen next: goals.
A massive week of football
At the beginning of this week, one would think that an easy win against the Wanderers would spring the squad into positive performances against Adelaide midweek, then Victory at the weekend. How things can change!
Now it is down to the strength of the squad, both mentally and physically, as the quick turnaround will not wait for anyone. Dario Vidosic will have to think long and hard about how the team will line up against Adelaide, especially with the Derby in the back of his mind. Not a single thought should be spared as these points can either make or break the season.
The starting squad against Adelaide will be incredibly important. There is no two ways about it, Dario must put out his strongest team, or risk giving up even more ground in our challenge for silverware. I can't see a win without Julia Grosso starting at left-back, Daniela Galic controlling the midfield, and our wide players supplying Wilkinson well in the middle. We must start well, and push on.
Mental strength important
In modern football with such quick turnarounds, players must be mentally strong in order to overcome unexpected losses and rejuvenate belief. Our squad has already shown that we have this ability, recovering well from a 3-1 loss against Western United to demolish Canberra United in a 4-0 away win the week after.
Dario will surely be using this instance as proof that the girls have what it takes to return from the upsetting result with a win midweek. It is undeniable that the squad has the talent to do some special things, we just need that return in confidence.
Adelaide are on a rough patch of form losing to Newcastle and Canberra back-to-back by two goals each. Here's hoping we can add to the misery with a win tomorrow night.
Score prediction: Adelaide United 1 - 1 City