IT has been a long wait for Ryan Kitto to record his second victory for Adelaide United — nearly three years and counting. So he’s desperate for a win against Wellington Phoenix on Sunday.
The winger has only tasted victory once in his two stints with the Reds.
When Kitto, 22, was part of Adelaide’s 4-0 win over Central Coast at Hindmarsh on December 14, 2013, it was a turning point for the Reds.
After recording its first win of the season under then coach Josep Gombau in Round 10, United improved markedly — but without much input from Kitto, who had a 15-minute cameo off the bench against the Mariners.
It was the last time Kitto saw action for Adelaide, which ended the season in sixth place before being eliminated from the playoffs by the Mariners.
Gombau cut the youngster loose, but Kitto he didn’t drop his head.
Instead he won the Sergio Melta medal playing for Birkalla in 2015, then played in the A-League again for Newcastle Jets last season before Reds coach Guillermo Amor re-signed the winger this year.
Now Kitto is a regular, making six starts in eight matches and eager to get Adelaide on the winner’s list — and double his win count for the club.
Adelaide hosts Wellington Phoenix with Kitto believing the clash will be the season landmark.
“We need to win, that’s the reality of the table,’’ Kitto said.
“But if any squad is going to do it, it’s this squad, we’ve done it before.
“I’m looking forward to another win, that’s for sure.”
Kitto says Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Sydney FC away has given the Reds a huge boost of confidence before this weekend’s clash.
Adelaide never looked in danger of losing against a Sydney outfit which had crushed many of its opponents this season before United showed how to foil the Sky Blues tactics.
“We had a clear plan and we did more work defensively in order to stop a free-flowing Sydney team who had been scoring a lot of goals in recent weeks,’’ Kitto said.
“We were very sound in defence and we were able to create a few good chances but we just couldn’t come home with the three points.”
Amor and his coaching staff devised a solid pre game plan to keep Sydney away from the Reds’ penalty box, while United regularly had the hosts on the back foot with quick ball delivery and smart switches of play to Kitto and his fellow winger Nikola Mileusnic.
“The coaches analysed Sydney and saw there was a lot of space in behind the full backs, they like to bomb on,’’ Kitto said.
“We were able to quickly transition to get the ball out wide and we got ourselves in dangerous positions.
“It’s unfortunate we couldn’t get a goal out of it.
“But I have been very grateful for the opportunity and I’ve got to keep learning and the best way to learn is to play games.”