Adelaide United defender Robert Cornthwaite understands there is a lot of work to be done prior to their final Asian Champions League group stage match.
The Reds remained on top of the Group H table despite a scoreless draw with reigning Asian champions Pohang Steelers and now cannot miss the Round of 16 stage but they will want to finish with a win against Shandong Luneng at home in just under two weeks time.
If they record a win there, they will go into the next phase with a home knockout match, giving them a distinct advantage over travelling again.
But after the draw with the Steelers, Cornthwaite said that the team were confident enough to achieve anything in the competition.
“We know Pohang is a tough place to go, they’re probably one of the top three or four teams in Asia, so to go to a place like that and come away with a draw is something to be proud of,” Cornthwaite said.
“I think they (Pohang) are the best side we’ve come across in this competition throughout our time playing in Asia over the last few years, they’re right up there with Gamba Osaka, who beat us in the Final the last time around, so we knew it was going to be a tough game and we were lucky to come away with a draw in the end.
“Obviously we would have liked to have played a bit better going forward and to have created a few more opportunities, but in saying that we’re through to the round of 16 and that’s what we wanted to do at the start of this tournament.”
Cornthwaite added that there was a bit more to be done to get the right result against Shandong and the players and coaches were working together towards that.
“We’re pretty happy with picking up a point away from home and qualifying for the Round of 16 but the job is not done, we want a home final and we need to put a good performance in and get the three points in two weeks time,” Cornthwaite added.
“We need the three points. A home final is so important because we don’t want to be travelling 30 hours to play away from home in tough conditions, we want to be playing here in front of a packed Hindmarsh, so it’s important we get the win in two weeks.”