Reds need strong A-League start: Galekovic
Photo Source: AAP
Doubters may have already written off Adelaide United, but captain Eugene Galekovic has backed his much-younger team to embrace the pressure of defending their A-League premiership-championship double.
He just hopes they get going faster than last season, reasoning that fairytale endings don't often happen twice.
The close-knit Reds are down several key players from May's unlikely title triumph with Bruce Djite, Bruce Kamau, Craig Goodwin, Stefan Mauk and Pablo Sanchez all departing.
Playmaker Marcelo Carrusca is also out for two months with a foot injury.
In their place coach Guillermo Amor has signed mostly youngsters including Ben Garuccio, Ryan Kitto and Jesse Makarounas.
Spanish striker Sergi Guardiola will fill the attacking void left by Djite, while Henrique and James Holland add more vital experience.
Galekovic wasn't surprised the Reds are not as highly rated against two formidable-looking Melbourne sides and a much-strengthened Sydney FC.
"We're used to being written off, we got written off last year too ... you hear comments that we recruited late," Galekovic told AAP.
"It is always tougher (after winning a title) but we want to go back to back.
"Good teams can win championships, but great teams do it two years in a row."
The fringe Socceroos goalkeeper stressed that new players would need to gel quickly to ensure a better start than last season, when the winless Reds lagged dead last after eight rounds.
Adelaide kick off their title defence on Sunday against Newcastle in a precursor to three tough games - a grand-final rematch with Western Sydney followed by clashes with Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City.
Galekovic didn't expect the Jets to roll over at Hunter Stadium despite coach Mark Jones stepping into the role less than two weeks ago.
"If anything it's going to make them stronger," he said.
"They've got a new coach to play for, so they'll all want to produce and show him what they can do to keep their spot."