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Adelaide United

Garuccio: We don't fear Melbourne Victory

04:25 SAST 2018/04/21
Ben Garuccio Adelaide United
The Reds are going in to their elimination final full of confidence, according to their in-form left back

They may be underdogs going into Sunday's A-League elimination final against Melbourne Victory, but defender Ben Garuccio says Adelaide United have nothing to fear.

The Reds have been in impressive form to end the regular season, winning three of their past four matches and scoring 11 goals along the way.

While the bookies say Melbourne Victory are short-priced favourites for the knockout final at AAMI Park, the South Australians have a good record against their rivals this campaign.

Adelaide knocked Victory out of the FFA Cup final in August and defeated Kevin Muscat's side 2-1 at Etihad Stadium in December - matches that Garuccio says gives the team confidence.

"We're going there with no fear. We take major positives and confidence out of those games," Garuccio told Goal.

"We just need to focus on our own game plan and make sure we execute that as best as possible."

The 22-year-old left back will likely come up against Victory winger Kosta Barbarouses, a player he has played against many times during his A-League career at Melbourne City and Adelaide United.

While Garuccio admits he will be wary of the Kiwi's talents, there will also be a strong focus on his own attacking game.

"I'm definitely not taking him lightly. He's had a good year, scored a few goals," he said.

"I need to be really cautious with him but I'm also looking to go out there, play my own game, get forward and contribute to my team as well."

This campaign is Adelaide's first under German manager Marco Kurz, a coach Garuccio says is unlike any of the others he has had in his A-League career - including Guillermo Amor, John van 't Schip and John Aloisi.

The Adelaide-born flyer explained the gruelling fitness-based training regime under Kurz, and believes his good form has a lot to do with those methods.

"He doesn't really compare with any of the other coaches I've ever had to be honest. The way we've trained this year is like nothing I've done in my professional career. I've worked a lot harder than I've ever worked," Garuccio said.

"But if you look at our team and the way we run out games this year, it's credit to the coaching staff.

"They've worked us hard but we're physically up for it and it's going to be the same on Sunday night."

Garuccio also paid tribute to three of his senior teammates as making a strong contribution to his impressive performances.

"As a full-back you rely on the team playing good football to really be a part of the play going forward. It obviously helps with the boys around me," he added.

"On my side I play with Ersan Gulum, [Daniel] Adlung and Johan [Absalonsen] - they just make life really easy for me.

"I try to float up the pitch as much as I can. Usually if I give the ball to one of them, I get it back. They make me look better than I what I am."