City stars could pay for FFA Cup mauling
MELBOURNE City coach Erick Mombaerts expects a reaction from "angry" players after Wednesday's heavy FFA Cup loss to Adelaide United.
Jubilant United coach Gertjan Verbeek admitted that he will allow his players to enjoy the win responsibly, and might enjoy a few beers himself learning from his 2013 Dutch Cup win with AZ Alkmaar, when celebrations were put on ice only for the team to lose at the weekend.
Teenager Al Hassan Toure was the star, winning the Mark Viduka medal for man-of-the-match after caused havoc with City's defence, scoring a stunning opener reminiscent of Ned Zelic's Olyroos wonder goal and playing a key role in the second.
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City captain Scott Jamieson declared that there were no excuses, apologising to City's travelling fans and vowing to rebound from the 4-0 mauling at Coopers Stadium.
Mombaerts hinted that he will make changes - perhaps some enforced - for Sunday's derby against Western United at GMHBA Stadium.
"I expect that our players are angry about this (loss) and I expect a good reaction. I expect also the players will recover well," Mombaerts said.
"It was a difficult game so have to recover mentally and physically.
"No (he's not worried) because it's the first time it's happened, so I'm not worried. I expect that our players understand what's happened today and now we will analyse and have a good reaction for next game.
"I expect my players are competitors. If you are a great competitor, (you should) react.
"We started very well (but) we make two big mistakes for the first goal. I want to congratulate Adelaide, they played well on the counter attack today."
Dutchman Verbeek questioned the Frenchman's claim about a counter-attacking style, declaring they had more possession.
While admitting the FFA Cup would be more prestigious with an Asian Champions League award on offer, he understands the commercial realities pale in comparison to Europe.
"A prize is a prize. The prize here doesn't have consequences - the prize in Holland you play international football," he said.
"It's different - I heard stories about playing in Asian Champions League, it's crazy travel and not much (prizemoney), maybe (the Asian confederation covers) some expenses.
"In the Europa League you receive a few million dollars and Champions League 12 millions dollars. Not here."
Asked whether he'd let the players enjoy the win, he paused before reflecting on the AZ experience when the board blocked them from joining 25,000 jubilant fans in the town centre to focus on a crucial last game, which they lost.
"I may drink a beer, maybe two or three. But not more," Verbeek said.
"The players that did not play will train twice, first at 8.30am, so I have to be there at 7.30am."