AAP Soccer

Reds’ A-League boss downplays coach duel

By AAP Newswire

Adelaide United's Marco Kurz is downplaying his tactical duel with Perth's Tony Popovic in Sunday's A-League game.

The two shrewd managers, renowned for their tactical nous, meet in Adelaide with their teams unbeaten.

Popovic's Glory have banked two wins and a draw in his return to the A-League, with Kurz's Reds recording one win and two draws.

"Both teams will be well prepared but it's up to the players on the pitch," Kurz told reporters on Saturday.

"You need a good performance. Both teams must play on their highest level to get the result they want.

"It's not up to the coaches. I think we are a part of the game but it's not coach against coach - it's Adelaide against Perth."

But Kurz, after dissecting Perth's style, rates Popovic and his tactics highly.

"They (Perth) are in good shape, different playing style. Good coach ... it's not easy to play against them because they stay very compact with five at the back," he said.

"They are very fast in transition and have good offensive players.

"I expect a very strong team, a very hard game for both teams because we are also good in shape. We are hungry for the three points."

Adelaide's undefeated start to the A-League season has also included a FFA Cup win with Kurz adding more scoring firepower, mainly via Craig Goodwin.

"We have the quality to create chances," the German said.

"Tomorrow, I will expect that we will have not so much chance.

"That means we must be very sharp in the last third and the last pass and also in the situation where we can finish.

"We're prepared. Both teams play offensive. Now we must be hungry."

STATS THAT MATTER:

* Adelaide and Perth are the only sides yet to concede a first-half goal this season

* Perth have only one win from their nine away trips to play Adelaide

* The Reds are on an eight-game unbeaten stretch at home (three wins, five draws).