Adelaide Utd close to A-League peak: Maria

Michael Maria says Adelaide Utd are getting close to their best after three-straight A-League wins.
Michael Maria says Adelaide Utd are getting close to their best after three-straight A-League wins.

He's followed Gertjan Verbeek from Germany to Holland and Australia, so Michael Maria knows exactly what the rookie Adelaide United coach wants.

And the versatile Curacao international believes the A-League team aren't far off it.

"It's quite close to what he wants because (otherwise) I don't think that you are doing a good job as a trainer if you've been here for five months already," Maria told AAP.

"I think we are doing what he wants us to do."

Given FFA Cup winners Adelaide are the hottest team in the league with three-straight wins, including last week's 3-1 victory over Central Coast, it's hard to disagree.

Maria was instrumental against the Mariners, sparking their first two goals in what was his first start at left-back since re-uniting with Verbeek at the Reds.

"If you're involved in a goal whatsoever, it gives you a certain boost," said Maria, who has also been deployed this season in the midfield.

"I played left back previously when he was my coach in Germany and Holland. When you change positions, you have to think a lot.

"But I just try and do everything I get asked to do."

Maria is well-accustomed to Verbeek's style, having played under him in stints at VfL Bochum in Germany's second tier and FC Twente in the Eredivisie.

It's why he is also used to the constant screaming from his coach from the sideline during matches.

"Yeah, I'm used to that. It's also because he knows me very well and he is a perfectionist. I'm the same as well," Maria said.

"Also, I come from Europe so it should be normal that he's asking more from me than maybe from someone else."

Maria, 24, said the biggest difference between his playing experiences in Europe compared to his short time in Australia was in team tactics.

He believes the physical nature of the A-League results in a more-open contest.

"It's a big difference because, in Europe, you got guys who are getting educated in tactics when they are really young," Maria said.

"You don't have that here in Australia.

"It's playing football a little bit clever. If you have your tactics right, then you have to do less hard work. It's quite beneficial, actually."

Australian Associated Press