A-League coach’s bold claim ahead of finals

Adelaide United coach Carl Veart remains defiant, claiming the club’s goal of earning silverware is still very much on track before facing Sydney FC on Saturday night.

Third-placed Adelaide can join Sydney in second spot, but not dislodge it, unless it comes up with a cricket score win at Coopers Stadium.

Veart has had to contend with an injury crisis that would have wrecked lesser teams and issued an ultimatum to two stars who have attracted overseas scouts.

Veart revealed the A-League’s most impressive young striker Kusini Yengi’s season could be over before his side beat a disjointed Melbourne Victory 1-0 on Sunday.

“Kusini pulled up with a hamstring in the warm-up,’’ Veart said.

“It seems to happen a bit here, it’s the second time here where we lost a player in the warm-up,” added Veart, referring to goalkeeper Joe Gauci injuring his thigh and being ruled out for the season before a 4-1 loss to Melbourne City this month.

“Kusini, we’re not sure, it could be the season over for him.”

Yengi has enjoyed a great season with the Reds. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

Veart also lost captain Stefan Mauk to a calf injury in Melbourne.

Mark was substituted in the 52nd minute against Victory, but an injury to Spaniard Juande, who was forced off the park in the 62nd minute, could be defining.

Experienced Juande in the defensive midfield role is a guardian for the back four and an inspiration for players in forward positions.

“Stef (Mauk), it’s an injury he has been carrying for most of the season. He has his good days and bad days and he tried to play through it. You could see him limping around but still being effective to what we wanted him to do,” Veart said.

“We know the type of character he is and he’ll play through it.

“Juande has been quite sore for the last few weeks, and he said that if he carried on he could feel something going.

“Rather than take the risk, we withdrew him.”

And Veart said axing brothers Al Hassan and Mohamed Toure before the Victory clash was warranted.

Al Hassan reacted by scoring a hat-trick for Adelaide’s NPL side in a 3-2 win over Adelaide City on Saturday.

“I wasn’t happy with their performances in the last couple of times I brought them on (from the bench),’’ Veart said.

“So they needed to go back and work on some things in the NPL.

“We expect when we bring our players on that they need to have an impact, and I didn’t believe they done that for us in the last few games.”

And despite Veart being unable to pick his best 11 for the entire season due to the injury dilemma, the Reds boss has always managed to get the best out of players available

“This is my first full season coaching the team, and you can see now they’re really starting to see my identity that I want my team to play with,’’ Veart said.

“A very high pressing, an aggressive football side, we just need to keep building on what we’re working on and hopefully we can win something this season.”

Originally published asA-League coach’s bold claim ahead of finals

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