Adelaide releases A-League trio
Adelaide United captain Travis Dodd hopes Tuesday's decision to release a trio of the club's senior players won't adversely affect the Reds' A-League campaign.
Veteran defender Angelo Costanzo and midfield duo Diego and Jonas Salley will not be offered new deals by Adelaide and will be released at season's end.
Adelaide currently top the A-League ladder, but if Melbourne win their match against Wellington on Friday night the Reds will need to beat the Central Coast at Gosford on Sunday to secure the minor premiership.
And Dodd said the challenge for Adelaide had increased with the news of Costanzo, Diego and Salley's release from the club.
"The timing of it is probably not great, we're coming into a crucial period of the season and we really need everybody to be focused on that," he said.
"Saying that, I'm sure that these guys are professional enough to stay focused and help the club as much as they can in the finals series."
While Dodd said he was sad to see Diego and Salley go, the biggest news for him was the decision to release Costanzo.
The former Socceroo has been with the Reds since the A-League's first season in 2005-06 but has been in and out of the side this season.
"I'm a little more saddened by it than a few of the others because he's been my roommate and he's probably one of my closest mates on the team," Dodd said.
"We've spent a long time together and he's been a great servant to the club.
"It's going to be sad to see him go and obviously for the supporters as well because he's one of the best players going around."
Dodd said he felt the trio can still play a role for United and impress potential suitors in the process.
"Everybody's got their own reasons for playing, I guess at this stage theirs are a bit different," he said.
"Not all is lost, they can further their careers and go out on a high with the club at the same time."
Adelaide go into Sunday's match having failed to beat the Mariners in two meetings this year.
In their first clash a three goal lead became a 3-3 draw before the Mariners defeated the Reds 3-0 at Bluetongue Stadium in November.
But while the Mariners are hoping to secure fourth spot and finals football, Dodd said the Reds had plenty to play for too.
"We don't really need extra motivation to play on the weekend with the premiership on the line," he said.
"Both clubs have got everything to play for and hopefully our boys will go out there with the mentality that we want it more and hopefully that'll show on the weekend."