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Herbert: Grand Final key battles

A-League
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Embrace the pressure: Adelaide's Cassio

Adelaide United defender Cassio has implored his teammates to embrace early-season pressure as they embark on a testing A-League away stretch.

The Reds, on a three-game losing streak, travel for three consecutive away games which could shape their season.

While the new-look Adelaide gain plaudits for seeking an attractive style under Spanish coach Josep Gombau, the evergreen Cassio realises results must also come.

"It's very early ... we have a lot of games to play, a lot of things to improve," Cassio told reporters on Tuesday,

"But, of course, at the end of the day it's all about wins and results."

Adelaide won their season-opener, followed by a draw and three losses - the most recent a shock home defeat to Newcastle Jets.

"We know we are not doing well and we sitting eighth and eight points away from the top - that is pressure, but I like that, for me it's welcome," Cassio said.

"This league, every game is very hard.

"It's a tough call for us, three games away in a row, it's a pressure but the players have to take responsibility."

After overcoming a nagging thigh injury, Cassio returned to A-League action last weekend and played the final half-hour.

The 33-year-old will likely start against Perth Glory on Saturday, replacing fellow left-back Michael Zullo who will be in Sydney at the Socceroos' training camp.

Adelaide also must replace defender Nigel Boogard, who has been suspended one match after being red-carded against the Jets.

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