Valkanis: They played their Grand Final, we will bounce back

City Head Coach Michael Valkanis says it’s not all doom and gloom for his side as they were defeated by a spirited Adelaide United on Thursday night.

cccReturning to the town where he made a name for himself as a player and coach, Valkanis and City were unable to record back-to-back wins in the league, going down to the Reds after a 87th minute counter attack resulted in Mark Ochieng finding the winner.

The loss was not all negative for City, controlling proceedings and dominating possession - especially in the second half - and the interim boss admitted his side needs to be more clinical and aggressive in the final third.

“When you are dominating and playing in your attacking half and Adelaide is hitting direct balls, that is going to happen,” Valkanis said.

"I thought even in the first half, we dominated [the majority of the half] and we created a beautiful goal, and maybe even a second one with [Nicolas] Colazo, which I’d like to have a look [to see] if it was offside or not.

“I think we had them against the wall for some time and completely dominated and the [statistics] show that as well. But unfortunately one moment with the counter attack and it was a goal [to Adelaide]. 

“But Adelaide were desperate today and when they were pinned back they were fighting for their lives, defending the box, desperately, and in the end you have to congratulate them on getting the three points.”

Despite the loss, City remain in third position, waiting on the result of Brisbane and Victory on Friday night and Valkanis is confident his side can mount a charge to the Championship, saying his side have shown enough this season to beat any team in the league.

“I think we’re good enough…. When I look at today’s effort from the boys, you can’t take away how hard they worked or how they played football, to pin Adelaide back, away from home.

“From the way they [the City players] played, they showed they were capable and that’s football sometimes; you can dominate and one moment, one counter attack in the second half, that’s what cost us the game.”

“Moving forward I think we’re comfortable. We’ll be OK. We dropped some points here in Adelaide; it was their do-or-die game as well… Understanding their situation they were going to give everything and we knew it would be [like] a Grand Final. I think our players gave everything and tried their hearts out.

City will look to bounce back this Thursday night as they take on the Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park, kick-off 7.50pm. Click here to secure your place at the match or sign up for our 3 Match Membership below!