Reds look to widen A-League gap with Jets
Only a point separates Adelaide and Newcastle on the A-League ladder and Reds coach John Kosmina says his charges will do everything they can to widen the gap when both teams clash on Wednesday.
The eighth-placed United take on the Jets at Bathurst's Carrington Park as part of the league's regional fixtures, where a win will be crucial for both sides who sit just outside the top six.
"It's an important game for both sides - a real important game," Kosmina told AAP.
"They're in the same situation as us. They're actually a point behind us on the ladder and we want it to stay that way.
"Actually, we want to do what we can to make the gap bigger. We don't want them to get near us."
The Reds ended Kosmina's dream start to his coaching comeback, posting their first loss - a 3-2 defeat to Central Coast - since he took the reins after five games unbeaten.
But Kosmina says while the loss stung, he took a lot of positives out of what was a strong showing against the runaway leaders.
"We got ourselves back in contention with five games undefeated," he said.
"We forget about Saturday night against the Mariners and we try to fix up the things that didn't give us any joy.
"We need to now start thinking about the next step and start winning some games and tomorrow night would be a good place to start.
"We've got ten games to go, so we need to start putting together some winning runs."
Outstanding in the Mariners clash was veteran Dutch striker Sergio van Dijk, whose partnership up-front with former Gold Coast forward Bruce Djite is fast becoming one of the most exciting in the league.
Van Dijk's five goals in four matches have also had a big part to play in the Reds' mid-season revival.
"I think it's got the potential to be the most powerful forward combination in the competition. I don't think it's there yet," Kosmina said.
"Serg has never played in a front pair before. He's always played one up or with a number 10 but not in an actual side-by-side situation so it takes a bit of getting used to.
"But it's improving week by week."
The Jets have so far had an inconsistent season that has left them sitting in ninth spot.
They too are coming off a loss last week - 1-0 at the hands of Wellington - but Kosmina is not about to underestimate coach Gary van Egmond's men.
"The Jets are in good form," Kosmina said.
"Gary is very well organised and structured as a coach so he'll have them sorted out the way he wants them to play.
"They're not going to lie down for us, that's for sure."