Reds reshuffle strikers

Adelaide United will reshuffle their forward line ahead of the clash against second-placed North Queensland Fury at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Saturday.

Adelaide United will reshuffle their forward line ahead of the clash against second-placed North Queensland Fury at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Saturday, with two-goal hero Iain Ramsay relegated to the bench making way for the return of Sergio van Dijk from injury.

Interestingly, it was Ramsay who was called up into the starting XI at the last minute against Melbourne Heart in place of van Dijk, when the Reds’ target man failed to overcome a knock the calf he sustained in training.

Ramsay bagged a brace in the 3-2 victory over the Heart including the late winner with just under five minutes remaining.

Reds coach Rini Coolen admitted Ramsay’s heroic performance last week means the Dutchman has a much wanted selection headache going into the match against the Fury.

“I think we are happy that our first striker van Dijk is back, so he is the first option to play with, and I prefer to play with the players that are meant to play in that position,” he said.

“We are happy with how he (Ramsay) trains and how he played last week, but he probably won’t start tomorrow, which says something positive about our team, especially for Iain.”

“Because three weeks ago he wasn’t ready to be one of the starting eleven, but he is now, so that’s better for me because I’ve got more choices to make.”

Coolen admitted Ramsay was disappointed with dropping to the bench, but said the young gun understands his role in the team.

The Dutchman hinted that the Sydney FC recruit will be used as a weapon coming off the bench on Saturday, injecting speed and energy into the game.

Coolen is certain throwing Ramsay on to change the match is a ‘perfect’ situation for both United and the 22 year-old.

“I talked with Iain about that because I’m really happy with the way he’s trained and played and we’re going to need him tomorrow and also next week,” he said.

“If you’re on the bench and you come in, the reason you have to come in is to change the system and the way you play.”

“You can bring speed into the game and that’s what he already did in the preseason. But, he was doing so well that we even could play with him in the first eleven, so it is perfect for us and perfect for him.”

Coolen defended his decision to leave Ramsay on the bench, saying he is an integral part of the Reds’ squad and that the young speedster will have plenty of opportunity with Adelaide.

The United coach said he has spoken at length to Ramsay in the wake of his double against the Heart and leading into the North Queensland encounter, saying he will continue to talk to and encourage the promising excitement machine.

“It gives him a lot of confidence but you have to continue to talk with him because he is a young player, that has just come in,” he said.

“(You) don’t put too much pressure on him, give him time and he will get enough game time, tomorrow for sure during the game and next week in Sydney which is also an important game for him personally.”

“If you have a good conversation with young players and not put pressure on them and go on … he’s a real important player for the team but you can only start with eleven players.”