A timely return of enthusiasm has eased coach Carl Veart’s fears that his Adelaide United side could be caught flat against Perth Glory on Wednesday night at HBF Park.
The Reds haven’t played since beating Melbourne City 2-0 at Coopers Stadium on January 3.
It’s a break of more than two weeks that Veart didn’t want just two games into Adelaide’s season.
“It’s been strange,” Veart said.
“It’s almost like we’ve gone back into pre-season mode so it has been difficult to keep that interest up.”
However, much to his relief, Veart noticed the spark had returned to his squad at training on Tuesday morning.
“You could see the sharpness back and the focus,” the Reds boss said.
“We’re really looking forward to getting back to playing again.”
While the Reds feel like they are virtually restarting their season, the Glory are in fact beginning their A-League campaign.
Having been forced into hard hotel quarantine for two weeks on their return last month from AFC Champions League duties in Qatar, the Glory requested the start to their A-League season be delayed.
Perth’s season was supposed to start last Saturday but the game was pushed back to Wednesday due to COVID-19-enforced border closures and travel restrictions that have caused havoc with the scheduling in the opening mouth of the season.
“It’s something that we’re going to have to get used to for this whole season,” Veart said.
“There’s going to be interruptions all through the season. It’s something that we just have to manage and take it game by game.”
With an eye on Adelaide’s home game on Saturday night against Melbourne Victory, Veart elected not to take Ryan Strain and Javi Lopez – who are recovering from respective groin and knee injuries – to Perth.
“(Strain’s) disappointed that we haven’t taken him for the Perth game, (but) he’s definitely available for Saturday,” Veart said.
The Reds – who are yet to lose under Veart in a seven-matrch spell stretching across two seasons – have had confirmed that following their game against the Victory they will meet Brisbane Roar at Dolphin Stadium on January 30.
Meanwhile, Glory striker Andy Keogh said he was delighted to back in Perth after leaving the club during previous coach Tony Popovic’s tenure.
He said it was “great” to be coached by Popovic’s replacement, Richard Garcia.
“It will be fantastic to work under him and give my all to help him achieve success,” the Irish marksman said.
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