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Japan FA backs Halilhodzic

AFC World Cup qualifiers

Adelaide United extend coach's contract

John Kosmina has been rewarded with a contract extension following Adelaide United's flying start to the Asian Champions League.

Kosmina, who took over as Adelaide coach for a second time following the mid-year sacking of Dutchman Rini Coolen, has been signed for another A-League season, with the option of a third.

And chairman Greg Griffin said the club would be thrilled if he stayed even longer.

"We discussed it with John and we've got a good relationship, it works as it is, it's year by year and we'd be delighted if he was here as a long-term coach," Griffin said on Thursday.

"When the time is right we will have the same discussion again so the length of the term doesn't matter.

"It's the performance, and what we've seen is a terrific performance and one that deserves to be rewarded with an extension."

The Reds have been out of the domestic finals race for some time, with their better performances coming in the ACL - most notably a 2-0 home win over Japanese powerhouse Gamba Osaka earlier this week.

"For me it's a privilege and an honour because this club is really special and I don't think even the people in it now realise how special it can be," Kosmina said.

"It's unique in Australian football and it's got a pretty good history in the A-League, even in terms of how long it has been alive.

"The club has achieved a lot and I think it's got a lot more it can achieve."

Despite their ACL heroics, the ninth-placed Reds have been out of the A-League finals race for some time.

Their final match is at home on Friday against Melbourne Heart, who are guaranteed a first-ever playoffs berth - and a trip to either Wellington or Perth for a knockout final - regardless of the result.

The Heart's most recent game ended in a 2-2 home draw with Sydney FC, when they threw away yet another lead after going two goals up.

"Physically in the last few weeks, everybody is looking very fit but we know that we have to be more stable in the way we play," said coach John van `t Schip.

"There's too much difference in two parts of the game, first half, second half.

"But taking away that, we create a lot. We have some really good play and now we have to have to extend that longer.

"That's the thing because if you want to be important in the finals, you have to be sharp - 90 minutes of good play."

Van `t Schip denied his young side were unable to close out games, but acknowledged they had to focus on not straying outside their structure.

The coach has made only one change for the game against Adelaide, swapping Jason Hoffman for Rutger Worm in the midfield.


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