Adelaide United captain Stefan Mauk has backed shattered goalkeeper James Delianov to bounce back from his poor performance against Brisbane Roar with a better display on Friday night when the Reds host Perth Glory at Coopers Stadium.
In just his sixth A-League appearance, Delianov made a regulation handling error that gifted Roar striker Dylan Wenzel-Halls his second goal of the match in Brisbane’s 3-1 weekend win over the Reds at Dolphin Stadium.
The young gloveman also had a forgettable night in Perth last month when the Reds lost 5-3 to the Glory.
However, Mauk was confident 21-year-old Delianov, one of three inexperienced keepers in the Reds squad, would make amends in front of the Adelaide fans on Friday night.
“Straight after the game (against the Roar) I had a little chat to him and he was obviously really disappointed knowing that if he didn’t concede that goal we’re still two goals down and if we do get the other back it’s a tighter game,” Mauk said.
“But every player makes mistakes and it’s really how you bounce back from it.
“Against Perth he (also) didn’t have the best game and (the following game) against Melbourne Victory he was quite solid and now again he’s made a little mistake as everyone has when they’re a young player.
“He learns from it and he knows what he needs to do to get better. He’s a good young player and he’s always looking to learn and he’ll be fine.”
Mauk will demand improvement from his whole team, not just Delianov, after the Reds’ flat performance against the Roar.
“To go out against Brisbane, you can blame all these other things, the delayed (kick-off) time, it was hot, it was humid, but we have to take responsibility for ourselves and each player knows they didn’t put a good performance in and we didn’t play the way we want to play,” he said.
Adelaide were similarly lacklustre in their loss to Perth, and will relish their return to Coopers Stadium.
“They destroyed us. It was 5-3 but it was a really flattering scoreline for us,” Mauk said.
“We’ve got something to prove against them. We know they’re a good team but we’re really excited to come up against them.”
Mauk was confident Socceroos striker Tomi Juric would play on Friday after missing the loss to Brisbane because of a groin injury.
“As long as he gets through the next couple of days, he’s up for selection. He’s an important player not just for his ability, but … his leadership,” he said.