Ex Barca great can make A-League history in Adelaide

James Jeggo has backed Adelaide United to claim Hyundai A-League silverware in 2015-16, and insisted coach Guillermo Amor deserves no blame for the Reds’ slow start to season.

Amor took over from Josep Gombau as Adelaide’s coach before the start of the campaign, after the latter decided to leave to pursue other opportunities.

Adelaide had impressed last season, finishing third to qualify for the AFC Champions League’s qualifying rounds, while they lost a semi-final 4-1 to eventual runners-up Sydney FC.

But it took Amor some time to get Adelaide going this term, as the Reds failed to win one of their opening eight matches.

Hyundai A-League clubs’ fixture run-in

Since then, however, Amor’s men have put together a 14-game unbeaten run to lead the A-League.

Reds players celebrate after Sergio Cirio scored against Sydney FC at the weekend.

Jeggo, who left Adelaide in January to join Sturm Graz in Austria, reckons the Reds’ poor start was down to the players’ collective struggles to meet Amor’s demands.

“There were things he changed that I don’t think the team adjusted to well at the start but I think, in the long run, it’s probably made an even better team,” Jeggo told Goal Australia.

“You’re seeing the results of it now, and I think through that rough patch we kept working hard and I think the biggest thing was he was calm, he never panicked, he never changed what he was trying to do. 

“The boys had faith in him and each other and kept working hard, and you can see the results now.

Mark Birighitti saves a shot from James Jeggo.

“I know he’ll be the same now after 14 games unbeaten as he was when we’d not won in five. He’s very calm and that rubs off on the players, and I’ve got no doubts that they’re going to have a very successful end to the season.”

Jeggo added: “They’re [Adelaide] absolutely flying. Hopefully it can continue and they can finish this season with a bit of silverware.”

Since Jeggo arrived in Austria during the January transfer window, he has watched his former team-mates continue their run to top spot in the A-League.

The 24-year-old credits Amor – a former midfielder himself with Barcelona – for helping him earn a contract in Europe, while he confirmed he also learned a lot from Marcelo Carrusca and Isaias after being grouped with them in Adelaide’s midfield trio for the majority of the past season-and-a-half.

Reds playmaker Marcelo Carrusca controls the ball on his chest ahead of Mariners defender Jake McGing.

“‘Chelo’ [Carrusca], one thing I noticed straight away is that he plays a lot of balls around the corner first time and goes and gets them, and straight away is running at the back four,” Jeggo said.

“That’s something that I would never do at Victory and something I tried to take from ‘Chelo’. And with Isaias, his awareness and the way he controls the ball, and the way he does things in the middle of the park.”