Football 3 years ago

Elrich faces fight for A-League spot

  • Elrich faces fight for A-League spot

Tarek Elrich is hopeful his Socceroo status won't cost him an A-League starting spot with Adelaide United.

The 28-year-old was with the national team in Jordan as the A-League season kicked off over the weekend and appears to have a battle on his hands to break back into the first team.

Michael Marrone played the full 90 minutes at right back as the Reds shut out a misfiring Melbourne Victory to record a 0-0 draw at Adelaide Oval.

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Elrich followed the game from overseas via Twitter and believes the strength of United's defensive display will make it tough for him to earn a start for Friday night's clash with the Western Sydney Wanderers.

"What do I want? I want to start," said Elrich, who, by his own admission, was below par in Australia's 2-0 World Cup qualifier loss to Jordan.

"It's the coach's job to pick the squad, but I'll do whatever I can during the week in training and hopefully being away with national team doesn't steal my spot in the team."

The A-League has been previously criticised for not stopping during FIFA-enforced international breaks, but it is a commercial reality for the competition and is done to appease broadcasters.

Last week, Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold said rising stars Andrew Hoole and Chris Naumoff had lost their starting positions because of an ill-timed Olyroos call-up.

Meanwhile, Elrich said he expects Adelaide will face a fuming Wanderers side on Friday following their disappointing 3-1 loss to Brisbane Roar.

"It's never easy playing against the Asian Champions League winners," Elrich said.

"They're going to be dangerous, they're playing after a loss and there's a lot of pressure on them.

"I can guarantee like any other team, they're going to come out firing ... (but) we're a quality team and when our game's on I don't think anyone can beat us."

Elrich said he was looking forward to returning to the more familiar confines of Coopers Stadium, United's traditional home, after a record low crowd for an A-League game at Adelaide Oval turned out to see the stalemate against Victory.

Fellow Socceroo and Adelaide United skipper Eugene Galekovic didn't train on Monday but is still expected to face the Wanderers.

Elrich had told reporters Galekovic was off for "tests" related to a prior injury but a club spokesperson later clarified, saying the goalkeeper was being given a day off after returning from international duty and is in no doubt for this weekend's A-League clash.

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