At the risk of being labelled ‘crazy’, Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau said he prizes playing good football ahead of just the raw wins and losses after his side was forced to cop a 1-1 draw against Perth Glory at Coopers Stadium on Sunday.
The Reds scored in the 11th minute through Pablo Sanchez and had all the play in the first half but their inability to conjure a second goal despite numerous prime chances allowed Glory to claw their way back into the contest and ultimately equalise.
But instead of feeling frustrated or lamenting so many wasted opportunities which saw certain victory slip through his team’s fingers, Gombau was measured and firm in what he believes matters most.
“For me, to play good football is the most important,” he said.
“I know that sounds crazy but I am positive that if we play like this, good things will come.
“Of course I want to win because in the end it’s a competitive league but playing like today, I go home satisfied because we did a good job.
“I feel playing like this we will win games and by winning games we will be in the finals.
“This is our aim, to play good football for the people to enjoy and to finish as high as possible on the ladder.”
With talisman Sergio Cirio, goal-scorer Sanchez and newcomer Miguel Palanca stationed up front, Adelaide employed what is certainly the first all-Spanish starting forward triumvirate in A-League history, which ran rings around Perth’s defenders early.
Gombau was pleased with Palanca’s slick showing in his first start for the club, despite the Spanish recruit fatiguing early after shading ex-Red Scott Jamieson.
“He (Palanca) did very well,” Gombau said.
“At half-time he told me he felt tired because for him it’s a big change (recently arriving in Australia).
“Also the speed of the game here is higher than in Spain (where Palanca had been playing for CD Numancia).
“In Spain the teams control more of the ball and here there’s more transition.”
As satisfied as Gombau was with his side’s attractive football, statistical dominance and number of opportunities created against the ladder leaders, the Adelaide manager still believed the home side deserved three points, which would have seen United inch to within one point of Perth and Melbourne Victory.
“We played a good game, we had control of the game and had more chances,” he said.
“We feel we deserved to win.
“We deserved to win three points.”