Adelaide produced their best performance of the season in their win over Central Coast, according to their coach.Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau boldly declared the Reds' stirring 2-0 triumph over the Central Coast Mariners at Coopers Stadium on Friday night as his side's best this season.
Leapfrogging the Mariners and Melbourne Victory into third spot on the A-League ladder with the result, United dominated from the outset and at times were simply irresistible.
First-half goals to Marcelo Carrusca and Fabio Ferreira proved the difference, the Reds continuing to boss proceedings against a more resolute Mariners outfit after the interval with one of the slickest performances in recent memory.
"For me, this was the best game that we've played," Gombau said.
"We played the (desired) style and also we didn't make mistakes.
"In the past we made mistakes, last week (in beating Sydney FC) we made mistakes.
"We are confident ... you can have so much confidence, but in football you can lose.
"You can never relax.
"I want my players to know that to win is very difficult and they need to work all the week to play a good game."
The win looms as the perfect springboard for white-hot Adelaide, with just one loss from their past 10 starts, to travel to AAMI Park and tackle Victory next Saturday in the hope of avenging their disappointing 3-0 loss to their arch nemesis at Etihad Stadium in November.
That defeat still burns in Gombau's guts.
"For us it (next Saturday) is very important as it's a derby against Victory," he said.
"It's the game where afterwards I was most sad because we lost that game after missing a penalty.
"We need to win that."
Meanwhile, Central Coast Mariners coach Phil Moss said his club needs to accept it is in the midst of a rebuilding era following their third loss on the trot.
Perennially an A-League powerhouse with two Premier's Plates, one championship from four grand final appearances and three stints in the AFC Champions League, the Mariners' golden era appears to have finally closed.
"No-one wants to lose matches, let alone three in a row," Moss said.
"It's not something that we're used to at the Mariners.
"It is a rebuilding era at the club and we have to accept that we're going to go through a tough spell.
"We've brought some quality in during the transfer window but we also lost a lot of quality as well.
"We've got to keep moving in the right direction."