Adelaide United coach Carl Veart has put the onus on Al Hassan Toure to transfer his NPL form to the A-League stage in the Reds’ crucial battle with Sydney FC at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night.
The Reds can ill-afford a loss to the Sydneysiders in the tight battle for top-six spots.
Needing goals, Veart has recalled Toure, despite the 20-year-old striker being yet to score in 15 A-League appearances this season.
The lean trot led to Toure being dropped after the Reds’ 2-1 loss to Perth Glory earlier this month.
“We weren’t happy with some of things he had done in the last few weeks, so we sent him to the NPL and he responded well – he scored a hat-trick,” Veart said.
“We couldn’t ask anymore from him so he’ll come back into the squad and hopefully he can bring some of that form back into the A-League.”
Al Hassan Toure has earnt an A-League recall. Picture: Tom HuntleySource:News Corp Australia
Toure’s not only in the squad – he’s set to start.
“Al Hassan will come straight in and play, so we’re looking for him to score goals,” Veart said.
“That’s what he’s there to do – score goals and help link up the play the way that we want to play football, and that’s what we’re expecting from him.”
It’s a job easier said than done against a finals-bound Sydney side that has the best defensive record in the league, having conceded just 22 goals in 24 matches.
“A lot of people talk about their attacking threats that they’ve got but first of all you’ve got to break them down,” Veart said.
“They’re a very difficult side to break down and then they’re very dangerous on the counter attack.”
“I’ve always said Sydney are the benchmark team of the A-League, especially over the last five years, and it’s going to be a great test for us, and something that we’re really looking forward to.”
Sydney FC coach Steve Corica said his side was wary of Adelaide’s pressing game, as well as the Reds’ pace in attack.
“They do like to get numbers forward, and they’re a very attacking team so we do have to defend well, but also we’ve got opportunities to score goals on the counter attack,” Corica said.
The teams drew 2-2 last month at Leichhardt Oval, with Sydney squandering a two-goal lead.
“We should have punished them in that game,” Corica said.
“We really should have won by three or four, and put the game to bed. We didn’t do that, so we need to learn from that and take our chances when they come.”
Source: Read Full Article