• Looking on the bright side ... Josep Gombau (Getty Images)
His side was eliminated by Central Coast Mariners but Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau remains excited about next season.
Source
AAP
21 Apr 2014 - 6:00 AM  UPDATED 21 Apr 2014 - 7:27 AM

But that's how Adelaide United mentor Josep Gombau was talking after his side was defeated 1-0 by Central Coast Mariners in its A-League elimination final in Gosford on Saturday.

The result propelled the Mariners into this weekend's semi-final against Western Sydney Wanderers but ended Adelaide's campaign and extended its horrible record of losing every play-off game on the road it has had - six of them.

But while lamenting the defeat and labelling the season ultimately unsuccessful, Gombau remained upbeat and said he couldn't wait to begin building towards the next campaign.

The Spaniard has always maintained his focus in his maiden A-League season was more on the bigger picture of trying to implement an attacking, free-flowing style of football to build lasting success at the club rather than on quick results.

Handed a two-year contract extension this week, Gombau will have the chance to continue putting his vision into action.

"Tomorrow I want to start to work," the 37-year-old said.

"I am excited to work and to do the job the best that we can and to start to sign new players and to bring this philosophy and try next season to be in the top.

"I think we can improve a lot."

As has been the case several times this season, the Reds dominated possession on Saturday night but failed to turn that advantage into goals.

Gombau made the surprising decision to start first-choice striker Bruce Djite on the bench.

In a rare departure from his usual tactics, the coach played without an out-and-out striker, instead fielding a front three of Jeronimo Neumann, Fabio Ferreira and Sergio Cirio, and the move backfired.

Gombau admits the Reds finishing the season two places lower than last year is by no means a success, but remains adamant he's put in place the foundations for his exciting brand of football to deliver results in the future.

"Finishing sixth can not be successful," he said.

"If you ask me about the steps we have taken from the beginning, I am satisfied in the way we are playing.

"Today everybody knows what they need to do, we play good football, the players know the movement and this is difficult.

"But successful? No. Successful is to be in the final, is to play in Asian (Champions League)."