April 13, 2015 11:45:43 UK
Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau conceded the pressure had got to his side as they missed the chance to take over at the top of the A-League.
But though the Reds squandered the opportunity to go top for the first time this season when they lost 3-2 at home to Brisbane Roar, there is still everything to play for.
Only one of the top five sides won at the weekend, meaning the chase for the premiership is unbelievably tight.
Third-placed Perth Glory have been banned from the Finals Series and will be placed seventh at the end of the regular season, so there are now four contenders separated by just a single point.
Gombau’s side have had some luck with the fixture schedule, as their final two games are against teams with nothing to play for.
They will face Western Sydney Wanderers, who are certain to finish in the bottom two and will have their focus on their Asian Champions League campaign, and Melbourne City whose finals place is secure but who cannot finish any higher than fifth.
United are 2.10 to win their next match against Western Sydney, who are 3.40 with the draw 2.20.
Gombau didn’t feel Brisbane would be leg-weary for the Coopers Stadium clash, despite having just returned from their ACL defeat to Suwon Bluewings in South Korea.
Instead, he felt it was his team who had been below-par, as they conceded two first-half goals and were 3-0 down before staging a fightback.
“Maybe this pressure (of) needing to win and finishing top is something the players are not used to,” said the Reds coach. “We didn’t have a good game, especially in the first half.”
Gombau was not tempted to point the finger at keeper Eugene Galekovic, who punched the ball into his own net for Brisbane’s second goal.
The Socceroos keeper had been United’s match-winner the previous weekend in the win against Sydney FC.
“Last week he was amazing and this week we had these mistakes,” said the coach. “It’s part of football – his big save last week and today he had a mistake.
“We need to keep going and not lose our head after losing one game.”
Don’t forget all of the fantastic markets we have to offer, including In-Play betting, can be accessed on your mobile phone with the new and improved bet365 On The Move.
View all Soccer betting