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Herbert: Grand Final key battles

A-League
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Adelaide 'months' away from A-League best

Adelaide United's new coach Josep Gombau says it will take until Christmas for his A-League outfit to adapt to his Spanish style.

Gombau begins his tenure as Reds coach with a home fixture against Perth Glory on Sunday, but the Spaniard isn't expecting instant success.

He says it will be two or three months until Adelaide's players fully implement his game plan.

"We will play different than the team played before," Gombau said.

"But if you ask me if I have enough time to play the way I want to play? No.

"But I think we can do a good job."

Both Adelaide and Perth will open their seasons without key players. United will be missing reliable left-back Cassio (thigh) and striker Bruce Djite (ankle) while the Glory have marksman Shane Smeltz (hip) and winger Travis Dodd (knee) sidelined.

Gombau, a former development coach at world powerhouse Barcelona who joined Adelaide after a four-year stint as head coach of Hong Kong first division club Kitchee, said he wasn't nervous ahead of his A-League debut.

"No, because I enjoy every day in my job, I cannot be nervous ... for me the important (thing) is the job that you do," he said.

"We need to enjoy the game and I hope that the people who come to stadium enjoy also.

"You cannot be nervous for one minute."

The 37-year-old was also adamant finals were well off his radar.

"For me, the expectation, this pressure, is to put a solid base to build something and after from this, start to work ... the important thing is to create your style," he said.

"Step by step , day by day, working, playing.

"I want everybody to play hard, bring 120 per cent every single game."

Gombau will give A-League debuts on Sunday to two Spanish talents, striker Sergio Cirio who played in Spain's second division last season, and Isaias Sanchez, a 26 who played with La Liga club Espanyol.

Socceroo Michael Zullo, ex-Gold Coast United midfielder Steven Lustica and former Western Sydney Wanderer Tarek Elrich have also joined the Reds.

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