Adelaide United head-coach Carl Veart has labelled new striker Tomi Juric the “best striker in the country” after last night’s goalless draw with Western United.
Juric, who was signed by the Reds after a five-year stint in Europe was impressive on his return to the A-League and was unlucky not to break the deadlock in the first-half.
Veart was pleased with the 29 year old’s performance who just joined the club little over a month ago.
“We just need to get used to the way he plays a little bit more and play with him a bit more,” Veart said.
“When he was involved, he looked very dangerous and he created some really good opportunities for us as well,
“To get 75-80 minutes out of him, we are very pleased with that and he has only had 3-4 training sessions with the group and so there’s very big upside with Tomi,
“I think we are fortunate enough to have the best number nine in the country.”
Adelaide blooded a plethora of young talent including James Delianov, Noah Smith and Yaya Dukuly who all debuted for the club.
Despite a vastly inexperienced side, Adelaide were unlucky not to score twice with two goal-line clearances the difference between the draw and three points.
Veart believes the draw was a fair result but thinks his young side grew into the game and were unfortunate to take home the win.
“If you asked me before the game, I would have been happy with a point,” Veart said.
“As the game went on, I think we were the side that were most likely to win,
“James (Delianov) in goals was magnificient tonight, young Noah (Smith) was very solid and Yaya (Dukuly) for a 17-year-old starting in the A-League, I thought he was very good,
“You look at the balance of our side with a lot of the youth there, there is a lot of excitement to look forward to.”
On the other bench, Western United manager Mark Rudan agreed with the sentiments of the opposition gaffer stating the result was “quite fair”.
“I thought it was a pretty enjoyable game to be honest,” Rudan said.
“It was an open game and both teams tried to attack when they could, I feel like it was two point dropped because we were at home and they’re a youngish side,
“We spoke a lot about starting off on the right food and making sure we started positively this season but if you look at the positives, zero goals conceded, it’s a point.”
Rudan admitted he took a risk with both Besart Berisha and new signing Victor Sanchez who were not at 100% for the opening game.
“Sanchez has only had four sessions with us,” Rudan said.
“He had a lot of his sessions in Spain and had a lot of problems getting here but he when he got here he was in great nick,
“Had we had played four days later as we were supposed to, he wouldn’t have started nor would have Besart knowing we have two weeks until our next game.”
A glaring omission from the Western United squad was Max Burgess who impressed last season especially in the restart.
Rudan said the situation surrounding the 25-year-old is “disappointing” and the club are doing all they can to support Burgess at this time.
“He’s got to come back and earn his stripes and get his fitness up,” Rudan said.
“It’s disappointing because I have a personal relationship with Max, I got a lot of belief and trust in Max, I took him out of the NPL and brought him to Wellington and he wanted to come to Melbourne and I was more than happy to have him with me,
“There’s no point in harvesting any disappointment and anger, it does no good to anybody, for me it is what it is,
“I can completely understand where he is coming from, that’s a conversation that we had and you have to show compassion to everybody in the team.”
Adelaide host Melbourne City on Sunday evening at Coopers Stadium while Western United will have to wait a fortnight until they take on City in their next contest at AAMI Park.
Featured image: Adelaide United