Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau says his defenders need more time to adapt to his tactics after giving up a two-goal lead in 3-3 draw with Melbourne Heart.
Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau says his defenders need more time to adapt to his tactics after giving up a two-goal lead in Sunday's 3-3 draw with Melbourne Heart.
The Reds, leading 2-0 by the half-time break at AAMI Park, appeared to be in complete control of the contest, before two Andrea Migliorini strikes - the first an early contender for goal of the season - followed by a David Williams penalty, saw the resurgent hosts storm into a 3-2 lead.
Marcelo Carrusca's deflected free-kick allowed Adelaide to escape with a point, and Gombau afterwards insisted his team is making progress, despite failing to win since the opening round of the campaign.
"I think it is not easy, honestly," he said. "Not easy to play like this. We need time.
"We are playing with the defensive line, very high. And this needs time to work.
"And it's not just the defensive line - it's all the team (who) need to work. Because we want to press, to make the pressing very (high). If the strikers don't press, it's easy (for the opposition) to put the ball back over the defence."
Gombau denied a lack of pace from his centre-backs Nigel Boogard and Osama Malik was an issue, reiterating his point that the team's defensive efforts must start further up the field.
"It's not a problem that they're not the quickest," he said.
"We need to make some different things before the ball arrives there. Everybody is speaking about them, but it is not fair."
Finally, Gombau was clear in his belief that Tarek Elrich did not handle the ball to concede a penalty in the second half.
The fullback appeared to block Patrick Gerhardt's downward header with his chest, but referee Strebre Delovski opted to point to the spot after passionate appeals from the home players and fans.
"I think no, after I saw in the match - is not penalty," he said.
"In the end, I don't want to put this as an excuse. Because in the end we concede two goals. And these two goals - we cannot concede them. Of course, the penalty that is not (a) penalty ... can change the game."