Paper Talk: Blackwood keen to be Reds’ main man after silencing the doubters

George Blackwood believes he can be Adelaide United’s answer to the goal-scoring woes after his dramatic late winner against Central Coast Mariners on Sunday.

The Reds have been searching for a consistent ‘number nine’ for much of the last two seasons with the likes of Baba Diawara, Blackwood, Apostolos Stamatelopoulos, Ken Ilso, and even winger Ben Halloran deployed in that position.

Blackwood has endured an injury-plagued season for the Reds making it hard for the 21-year-old to get a consistent run in Marco Kurz’s side.

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It’s led to reports of a possible move away from Adelaide but after grabbing the winner against the Mariners, Blackwood is eyeing more goals.

“I knew it (goal) was going to come, I just needed to get back into things,” Blackwood said in the Adelaide Advertiser.

“If I’m coming off the bench and making an impact, then that’s what I’ll do. If I’m starting, then I’ll do my best to build a good run of games and get fit.

“Obviously the coach makes the final (transfer) decisions. But we’ve got a bunch of really strong players.

“We’ve got a lot of attackers and we’ve got a lot of quality.”

Blackwood added: “Obviously match fitness for me is a big thing.

“I had the first injury and I didn’t get fully match fit and then I got injured again. That’s tough, but the goals will come, I know they’ll come.”

The fifth-placed Reds are at home again in Round 17, taking on Brisbane Roar.

Muscat hails outstanding Toivonen

Melbourne Victory boss Kevin Muscat lauded the match-winning contribution of Ola Toivonen, even comparing the Swedish striker to Lionel Messi.

Toivonen scored a sublime free-kick and had a hand in Victory’s other goal in the 2-1 win over Sydney FC, continuing a brilliant maiden Hyundai A-League season for the striker.

“He's coming in for some real treatment as well now. The amount of tackles he's conceding at the moment, but his quality really stood out again with his free-kick,” Muscat said of Toivonen.

“I watch a lot of football [on the] weekend, the majority of it international, and I don't think I'll see a bit of brilliance like that, for him to bring that ball down like he did (for the second goal).

“If (Lionel) Messi scores a free-kick like that as well this weekend, the world will be raving about it."

Phoenix ready to “get after” Glory: Taylor

Don’t expect any let-up from Wellington Phoenix as they prepare to face league-leaders Perth Glory at HBF Park on Saturday night.

Wellington appears on course for finals football after an incredible run of form that has seen them lose just one of their last 11 games in the Hyundai A-League.

Taylor has been a huge part of their success and admits he’s loving his football right now, but says his side is only focused on the Glory and not what’s to come later this season.

“Anything can happen if you’re not on your game. you’ll get caught out,” Taylor told reporters on Tuesday.

"We go there [Perth] with the same mentality that we can win and we’ll be on the front foot, getting after them."