Results more vital than style: Gombau

Playing good football has always been more important than results for Josep Gombau, but with the Premier's Plate within reach the Adelaide coach admits now the opposite is true.

The Reds' are locked in a five-way race to the top with just three games remaining before the finals.

Their 1-0 win over Sydney on Saturday may not have been the fruit of a brilliant display, but it gave the Reds a one-point lead on the ladder.

And should Wellington and Melbourne Victory draw when they meet later on Sunday and Perth beat Newcastle by anything less than six goals on Monday, Adelaide will end the round top of the table for the first time this season.

Adelaide did not play their usual attacking, proactive style against Sydney on Saturday instead grinding out the win with an aggressive, defensive gameplan that earned them seven yellow cards.

Gombau conceded getting the win was all that mattered.

"Today it was important we don't lose because if we do we go four points behind them (Sydney)," he said.

"So we had to defend well and try to get the result.

"Now is the moment to be competitive not to play fantastic football.

'The last three, four games are very important so now is the moment to defend and be compact and to play hard.

"At the end of the competition if you get the results people don't remember if you played fantastic football or not."

Gombau admitted Adelaide lacked the tempo and control injured Argentine midfielder Marcelo Carrusca provides.

The Reds coach got satisfaction from winning without their top scorer who is sidelined with a quad injury and will be racing the clock to make it back before the finals.

Adelaide could also be without Awer Mabil, who aggravated the quad strain that ruled him out of the Reds previous three games.

Gombau says the attacker will undergo scans this week to determine the extent of the injury.

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