Reds desperate to end their early-season blues
ADELAIDE United defender Dylan McGowan admits it has been a frustrating start for his team this season ahead of its clash against the Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium tonight.
The Reds have enjoyed the majority of possession in each of their three A-League games but have only come away with two draws and a 3-1 defeat to Perth last Sunday.
It's not easy being a defender at the best of times.
But it has been particularly frustrating for the 24-year-old, with the Reds' possession-based strategy not clicking yet under new coach Guillermo Amor.
"For the boys at the back, we do a lot of work getting us out, and they (opposing teams) come down the other end and score," McGowan said. "We set up to play attacking and often we're left a little outnumbered at the back.
"On Sunday we paid the price for it, but we've tweaked a few things and hopefully this weekend we can win."
Adelaide only has two goals so far this season - both own goals, in a 1-all draw against Western Sydney, and the other in the loss to Perth.
The visitors should be boosted by the return of attacker Bruce Djite, but it is doubtful he will start.
"He (Djite) is an important member of the team," McGowan said.
"And we're hoping to get (goalkeeper) Eugene (Galekovic) back in a couple of weeks, and (Iacopo) La Rocca.
"Once we get to full strength I think we'll be much better for it.
"(The mood) is still pretty upbeat - we've only been beaten once which is a positive we can take out of it."
McGowan stood up for his teammates after Roar coach John Aloisi applauded the appointment of "strong" referee Chris Beath for tonight's game.
Aloisi alluded to Victory coach Kevin Muscat and Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold not being happy in recent encounters against the Reds, with both mentioning some Adelaide players like to stay down after being tackled.
"I think some of our foreign boys have got a bit of an unfair reputation," McGowan said.
"If you look at the amount of knocks (Marcelo) Carrusca takes in a game - you don't hear us asking referees to protect him."
Roar first-choice goalkeeper Michael Theo remains sidelined with a quad injury, but fullback Shane Stefanutto will be included in the 15-man squad.
The Roar has won six of its past eight against United, losing two.
However, both those losses were at home.
Adelaide has won seven away matches at Brisbane in the regular A-League season (drawn five and lost three), and has only failed to score in two of those encounters.