FOOTBALL: Adelaide United boss Marco Kurz didn't sugar coat his thoughts about last week's 5-0 drubbing to Melbourne City but his honesty was brutal before Saturday's clash in Wellington against Phoenix.
The German alluded to Adelaide's young side throwing in the towel when City raced to a flattering 3-0 lead at AAMI Park last weekend.
His willingness to give youngsters another chance after United had an average age of 23.1 years against Sydney FC's 31.2 years a fortnight ago in a brilliant scoreless draw at Hindmarsh backfired.
"The result was shit,” Kurz said in Wellington.
"The performance was not our (true) face and not our style but the team is still hungry for success again.”
Kurz had a case in point after last weekend's result was branded by some critics as being one of the worst ever Reds performances, even compared to last year's lame 5-0 home loss to Perth Glory and the 7-1 loss to Ange Postecoglou's Brisbane Roar in 2011.
That Roar hiding was when Adelaide had assembled its most expensive squad on record, headed by stopper Jon McKain who had his captain's armband later stripped, striker Serginho van Dijk, midfielder Dario Vidosic, Andwele Slory and Evgeny Levchenko.
That Roar belting was the beginning of the end for former Reds coach Rini Coolen with last year's 5-0 hiding to Glory also enough to convince United's most successful boss Guillermo Amor to end his two-year tenure once the season drew to a close.
Kurz however is far from being under that sort of pressure after Adelaide was on top of City for long periods only to be let down by their inability to finish in front of goal.
"It's important that we don't forget we have a very young team,” Kurz said after training in Wellington on Friday.
"We are the only team in the offence that plays with only Australian players (now).
"It can happen that we had our worst day like against City but we can often learn from our mistakes.”
"Also a big point of the (last week's team) meeting we cannot stop a game after 3-0.
"We must stay compact, we must stay in a good organisation and play disciplined until the end of the game and it's also important to have good goal difference on the ladder.”
Kurz locked the doors to every training session at Elizabeth this week for good reason as he looked to keep his young men upbeat after the deflating loss rocked their confidence.
Kurz is set to make some changes to his side with Olyroos Paul Izzo, Ben Garuccio and George Blackwood destined to start from the bench.
With Isaias also missing due to a suspension for picking up a fifth caution last week, Kurz is expected to spring a surprise in the holding midfielder's role.
The chance of Gabriel Batistuta coaching in the A-League is becoming increasingly unlikely with Adelaide United close to appointing Marco Kurz from Germany as their next head coach, instead of the Argentinian star.
The former Bundesliga coach is emerging as the frontrunner to replace Spaniard Gui Amor as the new head coach of Adelaide and is understood to be close to agreeing terms with the club. While contractual details are yet to be concluded, it's understood Kurz's deal could be finalised during the week when representatives of the club arrive in Europe to finalise negotiations.
The Reds declined to comment when contacted by Fairfax Media on Monday morning but confirmed a German coach is certainly of interest.
Should Kurz sign, it will be his first stint coaching outside his native country where he's most remembered for coaching FC Kaiserslauten, earning promotion to the Bundesliga in 2010. He spent three seasons at the Fritz-Walter Stadion before short, yet unsuccessful, stints coaching Hoffenheim in the top tier, as well as Ingolstadt and most recently Fortuna Dusseldorf in the Bundesliga 2. He had previously spent three years at 1860 Munich, coaching their second team and their senior team.