Adelaide United coach lauds ALM players for hot streak

Adelaide United coach Carl Veart has labelled Friday night's A-League Men showdown with Wellington Phoenix as vital on two fronts.

One, a win will guarantee his red-hot Reds a finals berth.

And two, a victory will create a buffer between his team and the Phoenix on a clogged ladder.

Adelaide, basking in a stretch of nine undefeated games, hold second spot with 34 points ahead of their home clash against Wellington.

Veart's troops are six points adrift of pacesetters Melbourne City but just three clear of third-placed Central Coast, fourth-placed Western Sydney and the fifth-placed Phoenix.

"We have got four home games left and it's really important we make the most of those home games," Veart told reporters on Thursday.

"And tomorrow night is a really big stone for us to step over because if we get three points that opens up a little bit of a break against Wellington and guarantees us a spot in the finals."

Veart praised his players, particularly captain Craig Goodwin and ex-skipper Isais, for propelling his unit during their unbeaten streak.

"There's no better feeling than coming to training when you're performing well and winning games - the level of concentration is higher, the enjoyment factor is higher as well, so the boys are flying at the moment," he said.

"To be fair, the players have ... been the real driving force for the last eight, nine games.

"They're the ones that are driving the performances on the pitch and it's a clear factor that our senior players have really stood up in the last nine games - Craig Goodwin has been exceptional, Isa is back to the form that he was in before he left the club.

"And with them stepping up, it has just dragged the performances of the younger players."

The Reds were further buoyed with the selection of Goodwin, goalkeeper Joe Gauci and 17-year-old Nestory Irankunda in the Socceroos squad for looming friendlies against Ecuador.

Irankunda was rewarded with a train-on spot for his rich recent form - he's come off the bench to score in three consecutives matches, and netted four times in his past six games.

"It's important for him to go and see what that next level is and then see what he needs to do to get to that level, because that is where he wants to get to," Veart said.

"The experience is going to be a great learning lesson for him and hopefully it will spur him on to be more driven when he comes back."