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Feb, 24, 2012

Reds not giving up on A-League finals

A defiant Adelaide United coach John Kosmina hasn't given up on his side making the A-League finals but admits they face a huge challenge to land a spot in the top six after falling 1-0 away to Newcastle.

With just four games remaining in the regular season, Adelaide sit second last and seven points from a finals place.

The loss to the Jets on Friday night courtesy of a Tarek Elrich strike looks to have all but ended their campaign, but Kosmina doesn't see it.

"Stranger things have happened in football," Kosmina said.

"We now have to win our last four games. You've got to be optimistic. It's going to be tough - we've got Perth on Thursday who I think are beatable, we should have beaten them at home a month ago.

"Then a trip to Uzbekistan (for the Asian Champions League) which will be tough, and Brisbane away from home which will be even tougher."

One player who is unlikely to play a part in the immediate future is dynamic Uruguayan midfielder Francisco Usucar.

The playmaker limped off in the 19th minute of Friday night's match with a hamstring injury and will be monitored by the club's medical staff over the coming days.

"He had an unbelievable game against Sydney last week and he looked like carrying on that form but for some reason his hammy just tightened up on him," Kosmina said.

"We will assess him ... and have a further look Monday, but he won't be playing against Perth at this stage, and I doubt he will be getting on a plane next Friday for the trip to Uzbekistan."

The coach is adamant fatigue wasn't an issue in Friday's performance.

"When you look at the fact that's our fourth game in twelve days I thought our effort was fantastic," he said.

"We've got to go out there and put effort into the Perth game. The fans deserve better, and we've got to turn things around. The players are disappointed as well.

"If you want to develop a warrior mentality you've got to behave like one and sometimes you have got to deal with difficult situations.

"We're not going to give up. Even if we don't make the finals we're going to go down fighting, end of story."

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