Kurz to leave Adelaide at season’s end

Adelaide United coach Marco Kurz is to leave the club at the end of the season.

The 49-year-old German will see out his second campaign at the Reds but said talks about a renewal of his contract had not worked out.

Kurz has been linked with the vacancy at second-bottom Brisbane Roar.

Chairman Piet van der Pol had issued a statement last week after Kurz had accused him of leaving him waiting a month for a reply after leaving him a message.

It left the pair looking unlikely to reach a resolution about a new deal, and Kurz says he they did not share a "common vision" for the club.

"Our goals are very different and therefore a renewal of my contract does not make sense," he said.
 
"Regardless of this decision, it is important now to focus on reaching our aims for the season and to secure a spot in the finals."

Kurz guided the Reds to success in the FFA Cup last year, when they beat Sydney FC in the final.

The club have spent the whole of this season in the Finals Series spots, and though they have not won in four games they are still likely to finish in the top six.

United are sixth, and have a five-point gap above Newcastle Jets with five rounds to go.

Van der Pol said in a statement: "After meeting with Marco…I informed him of our decision not to extend his contract beyond this season. In the coming weeks we will be identifying potential candidates."

Kurz has denied speculation he had held talks with Brisbane, who parted with coach John Aloisi in late December.

Adelaide United are 16/1 to win the Grand Final.

The Reds are 4/7 to win their next game against Central Coast, who are 17/4 with the draw 16/5.

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Kurz kept waiting by Adelaide chairman

Adelaide United coach Marco Kurz has been linked with a move to Brisbane Roar, as he awaits talks on his future with his own club chairman.

Kurz, whose contract is due to expire at the end of May, says he hasn't been able to speak to Piet van der Pol for four weeks.

Van der Pol had previously agreed to open talks with the German about his future at the end of February.

Brisbane appointed Darren Davies as interim coach when John Aloisi quit in December, but the club are planning a long-term appointment once the season is over.

The Roar are out of contention to make the Finals Series, whereas Kurz is on course to comfortably post a top-six finish with Adelaide.

With six rounds left, United are fifth and only behind fourth-placed Wellington on goal difference while Brisbane are next to bottom with just 15 points from 21 games.

Brisbane are reported to have 49-year-old Kurz on their shortlist of serious contenders, having initially had 120 applicants for the job.

He has guided Adelaide to successive FFA Cup finals since his arrival in 2017 – they beat Sydney FC to lift the trophy last year.

Kurz, who has coached the likes of 1860 Munich, Kaiserslautern, Hoffenheim and Fortuna Dusseldorf, took the Reds into the Finals Series last season.

Speaking of his future in Adelaide, he said he was still waiting for a call back from van der Pol after four weeks.

"I have a lot of points to discuss with him," added Kurz. "Not only my personal future…I want to know what is the long term goal for the club, that for me is important.

"Maybe he has another idea (for coach), it's okay, it's part of the job but I have never had this before in my long career as a player and as a coach."

Adelaide United are 16/1 to win the Grand Final.

The Reds are 2/1 to win their next game against Perth Glory, who are 11/8 with the draw 5/2.

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Reds hit by Jakobsen absence

Adelaide United coach Marco Kurz felt his team did well to adjust to the loss of defender Michael Jakobsen in their 2-0 defeat to Sydney FC.

Jakobsen was unavailable for the Leichhardt Oval clash after suffering back spasms in training on the eve of the match.

It forced the Reds to change their formation for the game against the second-placed side, with Kurz departing from his traditional 4-3-3- system.

He admitted his players had found it difficult in the opening 20 minutes, during which time they conceded the first goal to Reza Ghoochannejhad.

But he was happy with the way they settled after that, despite conceding a second goal late on to extend their winless run to four games.

"In the first half we needed a little bit of time (to get into the game) because it was not easy for us," said Kurz. "We started in a completely new line-up and it was only in theory that we explained to the boys what they had to do.

"But I think after 20 minutes we felt more confident in our game and we created a couple of good chances; I'm happy with the way we played in the second half as well and maybe we controlled the game more.

"But we didn't score the goal and to concede the second goal (while the team was pushing forward) at the end on the counter is normal."

United still have an eight-point cushion inside the Finals Series places with six games left, though they will next have to face league leaders Perth Glory.

All three of their remaining home games are against other teams in the top six.

Adelaide's Craig Goodwin is 33/1 to be the A-League top scorer.

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Kurz happy with Reds defence

Adelaide United's defence earned a tick from head coach Marco Kurz as the Reds took a point from a 0-0 A-League draw away to the Newcastle Jets.

Kurz's side retained their eight-point cushion inside the A-League's top six, putting in an improved display after losing at home to Western Sydney the previous week.

Leading scorer Craig Goodwin was unlucky not to add to his tally, seeing his powerful shot rattle the crossbar three minutes before the break.

Kurz was pleased with the way his defence contained Newcastle, and reserved praise for Michael Marrone's display at centre-back on his 200th A-League game.

"The replacement for Jordan Elsey with Michael Marrone was not easy, but Mickey did a good job and played a good game," said the coach after United's fifth clean sheet of the campaign.

"I think we played a good game away here in Newcastle; we had in the first half the control of the game and we have to score from two chances, one goal for sure."

Kurz felt his team did well to curtail the involvement of the Jets' influential players like Dimitri Petratos and Irish striker Roy O'Donovan.

"You have to control Petratos – maybe he's one of the key players for them and he can decide a game with a cross or with a final pass," he said.

"Also you have to control O'Donovan in the box and also Jair who is always a player who can make a difference; we had the control over all of them and it was a good defensive performance from the whole team."

The Reds are 5/2 to win their next game against Sydney FC, who are 11/10, with the draw 23/10.

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Kurz frustrated by Reds’ display

Marco Kurz says Adelaide United failed to follow his instructions in the second half when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Melbourne City.

The Reds coach was happy with what he saw from his team in the first half-hour at AAMI Park, and they took the lead through Craig Goodwin's header.

Had they heeded the coach's half-time advice, they may well have held on to earn a win that would moved them to within three points of third-placed Sydney FC.

But Adelaide conceded a goal to new City signing Jamie Maclaren, being punished for their inability to play out from the back.

Kurz said he felt the draw was a fair result, but added: "I think in the second-half we played not so well and not good enough for the victory. I think we started well and played well for first 30 minutes and then we lost a little bit of the control of the game but we scored a goal.

"At half-time we said we must look forward and play the ball to our offensive players, but it was completely different, we played more back."

The draw kept United inside the top four with nine games left in the regular season, and if they can remain there they will have a home game in the Finals Series.

Kurz gave Dutch recruit Jordy Thomassen his debut and saw him play the full 90 minutes.

"At this point the performance was okay, I think he has enough space to improve again and to adapt but he's a good person," said the coach. "And I hope he can give us a lot of quality in the future."

United have now suffered just one defeat in 10 matches, and the draw extended their unbeaten run to five games.

Adelaide are 12/1 to win the Grand Final.

The Reds are 8/13 to win their next game against Western Sydney, who are 4/1 with the draw 3/1.

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Thomassen set for Reds bow

Dutch striker Jordy Thomassen is set for his Adelaide United debut when the Reds take on Melbourne City on Saturday.

Coach Marco Kurz says the new signing, who joined on loan last week from De Graafschap, is ready to play at AAMI Park.

United are considering starting him against Warren Joyce's side in a match that could be crucial to their chances of claiming a top-four spot, with the Reds currently in fourth place, two points clear of City going into the final 10 rounds.

Kurz said the squad had made Thomassen feel comfortable at the start of his first stint outside Europe.

"Jordy is 100 per cent and it looks like he's a good player and we'll give him time to come into the team," he added. "I don't know if he'll start or not, but he's ready for a starting position or also ready to come from the bench."

The coach said of the 25-year-old: "There's maybe a lot of pressure on the boy. I'm sure he'll be fine because he's alert, he's focused, he's asked questions and he'll learn quickly."

Thomassen had a successful spell with Helmond Sport between 2016 and 2018, netting 25 goals in 75 games.

Adelaide have earned three wins and a draw from their last four matches, but their last two victories have come the hard way.

They trailed at home to both bottom side Central Coast and second-bottom Brisbane Roar before scoring injury-time winners.

United are 19/10 to win their game against City, who are 11/8, with the draw 5/2.

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Kurz hails Reds spirit

Adelaide United coach Marco Kurz hailed his team's character after seeing them come from three goals down to beat Brisbane Roar 4-3.

The Reds looked to be in an impossible situation late in the first half, when they trailed 3-0 with Ken Ilso already sent off.

They thrilled the Coopers Stadium crowd, though, with one of the greatest comebacks in A-League history that was completed in the 97th minute by Nikola Mileusnic's headed winner.

Kurz admitted after the game he'd needed to have "very loud" words with his players at half-time.

Though captain Isaias had scored from a free-kick just before the break to make it 3-1, the German coach needed more of a response from the team.

"It was not easy to come back in this game but I was very loud at half-time," said Kurz. "Because I hate it when we stopped playing and stopped believing, because I saw in the first-half not a better team from Brisbane, I saw after we conceded the first goal I saw that our body language dropped."

The coach said he'd made the point to the players at the interval that they needed to win the second half, and they were able to do so in part due to the Roar having two of their own players sent off.

Adelaide have now lost just one of their last nine games, and Kurz said he was delighted with what he'd seen in the second half.

"The team is fantastic, the character is fantastic and I'm very proud about them," he added.

"And I hope we learn in the next week we can concede in every game an early goal or respect a tough decision that sees us play with ten but you cannot stop to play.

"I think what we did very well in the second-half, the ball speed was good, we waited for the right moments and to trust and believe and jump for the crosses."

Adelaide are 19/10 to win their next game against Melbourne City, who are 5/4 with the draw 13/5.

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Thomassen bolsters Reds squad

Adelaide United have signed Dutch striker Jordy Thomassen on loan for the rest of the A-League campaign.

The Reds, who are just one point outside the top four, beat the transfer deadline to bring in the 25-year-old from De Graafschap.

Thomassen joined the Dutch Eredivisie side last year after scoring 25 goals in 75 games for Helmond Sport.

Adelaide's director of football Aurelio Vidmar said of him: "Jordy is a young striker who is very strong. He is an aerial threat being 189cm tall, but is also comfortable striking the ball with both feet.

"At just 25, Jordy is a hungry and determined footballer who has been doing well in the Netherlands over the last few seasons."

Thomassen said he was excited to be joining Marco Kurz's side as they prepare for a Finals Series campaign – the Reds have an 11-point cushion inside the top six.

"The team is in a good position in the league and, from the games that I have watched, I can see it is playing some quality football," said the forward.

"I had the option to remain in Europe with other clubs, but after speaking with the club and also Marco Kurz, the football and direction of the team is something I wanted to be part of."

United have lost just one of their eight games since Christmas, picking up four wins during that time and they next face a Brisbane Roar side who are without a win in their nine away games this season.

The Reds are 8/15 to win their next game against the Roar, who are 5/1, with the draw 10/3.

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Roar will be tough reckons skipper

Captain Isaias says Adelaide United are expecting struggling Brisbane Roar to prove a tough test when the sides meet on Saturday.

The Reds are in a period of the season where they're expected to take advantage of their home games.

The fixture list has them playing the bottom three teams in consecutive outings at Coopers Stadium and they've already overcome last-placed Central Coast.

But the fact that the Mariners took the lead against them in the first half before going down to a 2-1 defeat has given Adelaide a warning that they can't afford to take anyone lightly.

United have already beaten Brisbane 2-1 at home this season and the Roar have just one win to their credit in their first 16 games.

Adelaide, who are 17 points better off than the visitors, need to take maximum points to try to move back into the A-League top four.

Isaias said: "I think [Brisbane are] in a tough situation right now. We're coming from a win last game, and I think it's going to be a tough game.

"But we're at home, playing in front of our fans and I hope to have the three points again. We're really happy with the recent results and we're looking for more."

Marco Kurz's side came through the busiest part of the season well, playing eight games from Boxing Day to 27th January and claiming 15 points.

Isaias said: "I think we've done alright so far but it obviously comes from the beginning of the season. I think we worked really hard from the first day on in pre-season and this is why we worked that hard, to get into this period of time really fit."

United have added German midfielder Mirko Boland to their squad for the Roar clash and promoted youngster Carlo Armiento to the senior side.

Adelaide United are 12/1 to win the Grand Final.

The Reds are 8/15 to win the game against Brisbane Roar, who are 19/4 with the draw 16/5.

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Kurz proud of Adelaide attitude

A fourth win in seven games left Adelaide United coach Marco Kurz well satisfied with his players' attitude.

The Reds needed an injury-time winner from substitute George Blackwood to secure the three points against the A-League's bottom side, Central Coast Mariners, but Kurz felt they deserved the Coopers Stadium victory after they'd shown plenty of character in the second half.

Adelaide trailed at the break, with Andrew Hoole having fired a curling shot past keeper Paul Izzo.

Kurz felt concerned that, having played six games in 22 days, the players might be starting to wilt under the pressure.

But Isaias got them back on terms with a close-range shot and Blackwood headed home Ben Galloway's cross in the second minute of added time to secure the victory.

It lifted them above sixth-placed Wellington on goal difference and gives them an 11-point cushion inside the Finals Series places.

For the third time in their last four home games United were able to avoid defeat having trailed at half-time.

Kurz said after the game: "It was the first time I think the team felt a little bit of pressure – you saw it at the beginning, plus they looked tired. We did a couple of easy mistakes, but we had three big chances at the end of the first half and they shot one time on our goal and scored.

"But at the end it was very important and I'm very proud of the boys about their attitude. At the end it was very important to jump over the hurdle. It was very important."

Kurz, whose team have a run of three straight home games against the bottom three teams, added: "I think the second half with a lot of pressure and a lot of belief, not every situation we played perfect but we created chances and we saw it [through] until the end."

United are 8/15 to win their next game against Brisbane Roar, who are 5/1, with the draw 3/1.

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