Adelaide United has been given a harsh wake-up call by a shock loss to A-League battlers Western Sydney, says Reds defender Scott Galloway.
Adelaide blew a chance to close the gap on the top three on the ladder when losing at home 3-1 to the Wanderers last Saturday night.
And United's disappointment is compounded by other results - both second-placed Melbourne Victory and third-placed Sydney FC drew their weekend games.
"That is probably what sinks in a bit more, is all the other results went our way," Galloway told reporters on Tuesday.
But instead of closing the gap, Adelaide's loss leaves it vulnerable to being caught by rivals in the middle rungs of the ladder.
The Reds (30 points) kept fourth spot but Melbourne City (28) and Wellington Phoenix (28) are within striking distance.
"It's a wake-up call really," Galloway said of the loss to the Wanderers.
"Leading into finals, where we could have been a bit further away from seventh spot now it's made things a little bit, not harder, but we have to be aware of what the risks are.
"But we're still confident, there's still eight games to go ... as long as we get the results, that top two finish is always a major possibility, but right now it's (about) locking down that we're in the finals."
Adelaide travel to play seventh-placed Newcastle (22 points) on Sunday with the Jets also in action on Tuesday night in Japan in an Asian Champions League qualifier.
"They have got an opportunity to get into the Champions League which is huge for them ... and obviously now when they come back they have got a fighting chance to get into the (A-League) finals," Galloway said.
"We have had two good results against them ... so we look to go and get the three points again and concentrate on our game and how we play, because we know if we do what we can do, it doesn't matter who we play."
Australian Associated Press