Adelaide midfielder faces fitness call for ALM final

·2-min read
Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS

Adelaide United midfielder Jay Barnett faces a last-gasp fitness call ahead of the opening leg of the A-League Men semi-finals against Central Coast.

An ill Barnett missed the Reds' final training session for Saturday night's clash at Adelaide's Coopers Stadium.

But coach Carl Veart says Barnett's absence from Friday's light tune-up won't necessarily be an issue - as long as he reports feeling better on match day.

"He just wasn't feeling well so we just kept him away but he should be fine," Veart said after Friday's session.

Barnett, who joined the Reds in February from Melbourne Victory, was a key factor in Adelaide's 2-0 elimination final win against Wellington Phoenix.

If passed fit, the 22-year-old will be a vital component of Veart's plans to correct a dreadful recent record against the Mariners.

Central Coast have won their past two meetings with Adelaide 4-0 and 4-1.

The 4-0 triumph was just a fortnight ago in Adelaide but Veart said little could be read into that result ahead of the first leg of the semi-finals.

"We were poor and they played it like it was their grand final," he said.

"And you saw the way they celebrated afterwards, they came here and out their eggs in the one basket I suppose and we held back a little bit.

"It (the semi-finals) will be a little bit different ... finals football is completely different.

"We will be taking the game on a little bit different.

"This week is not a knockout but I'd say both teams will go pretty hard at it - they have all season and we have all season, so I can't see it being too much of a change from that."