Valkanis praises young Reds after Cup win
Stand-in Adelaide United coach Michael Valkanis was quick to praise his young troops following their hard-fought 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix in the Westfield FFA Cup on Tuesday night.
A lone first-half goal from Spaniard Sergio Cirio was enough for the hosts to claim victory in the round of 32 clash despite missing a host of first-team regulars through injury and Foxtel A-League All Stars commitments.
"It was great to see with six young boys playing that we were able to get a positive result against an experienced Wellington team.
"It was always going to be a tough one but in the end we won the game and we played quite well for periods of time.
"We're happy to give the opportunity to so many young boys to play and I think they did very well."
Reds fullback Tarek Elrich echoed his coach's sentiments and admitted although it was not their best performance they were pleased to grind out the result.
"Coming into the game without Eugene (Galekovic), Marcelo Carrusca and Fabio Ferreira it was always going to be a tough ask for us," Elrich said.
"Today was one of those games, it wasn't the prettiest but we had to roll up the sleeves and get stuck in."
Valkanis, deputising for Foxtel A-League All Stars coach Josep Gombau, suggested the poor playing surface at Marsden Sports Complex in Adelaide did not help his side's possession-based style but said he was pleased with how they adapted.
"I think the first 20 minutes Wellington were quite good, it was always going to be hard for us trying to play out on not a great surface," he said.
"I think we handled ourselves quite well in trying to do what we're supposed to do and to stick to our style which was good."