Returning to South Australia with a point securely fastened in the overhead locker, Adelaide United central defender Michael Jakobsen believes that his side is beginning to head in the right direction ahead of the A-League’s final stretch.
Adelaide sits fourth on the table following Saturday night’s 1-1 draw with Melbourne City: coming away with a point after Craig Goodwin’s 43rd minute header was cancelled out by Jamie Maclaren’s maiden City goal in the 69th minute.
Eleven points clear of seventh-placed Newcastle Jets, the Reds’ position as finalists for 2018-19 would appear all but looked in with nine games left to play on the season, but further forward progress may also prove difficult.
Ten points behind ladder leading Perth Glory before the West Australian’s play their round 18 fixture against Melbourne Victory, a challenge for premiership appears naught but an impossible dream.
The overhauling of second-placed Victory – six points clear of Adelaide – and Sydney FC – five points clear – present will also prove a formidable mountain to climb.
Nevertheless, with both Victory and Sydney set to embark on Asian Champions League in the coming months, the chance that their opponents may slip up and surrender their lead remains a possibility.
“I think we play on a good level and see ourselves in the top six,” Jakobsen said on Saturday night.
“We want to get up as high as possible. We need to get as many points as possible. We’ve started to win home games as well now, that’s very interesting.
“We’ve been solid away from home the majority of the season, but we’ve been lagging results at home, so now they’re starting to come as well so we’re on a very good road at the moment.
“Today was a massive game because we could go five points in front of them (City). We didn’t do that, but we still kept them behind us and that’s a plus.”
FEATURE | “I seem to have made a lot of finals and never scored so that felt really good.”
— Daily Football Show (@DFS_AUS) February 10, 2019
Though they wouldn’t have deserved it on the balance of play, Jakobsen and his teammates could easily have found themselves coming away with all three points from AAMI Park had they not suffered a lapse in concentration to allow Maclaren to tie things up.
The Socceroos attacker created something out of nothing when he forced a turnover from Adelaide skipper Isaias and continued to move forward to receive a subsequent cross from Luke Brattan that he tapped in from two yards out.
“It’s always disappointing the way that they got the goal,” Jakobsen said.
“It’s a human error from us and a mistake, so that was disappointing but we have a philosophy and a way we want to play and that’s playing out from the back so sometimes mistakes will happen.
“I think our second half was not as good as the first half.
“We were sitting back a bit lower than what we were supposed to so that created some pressure on us. They got an equaliser and in the end, it’s a fair result.
“But yeah, when you’re leading and it’s a personal error then you’re disappointed you don’t get the three points, but that’s football.”