Coolen wants fixture changes

Adelaide United coach Rini Coolen has urged Football Federation Australia to rethink hectic scheduling as the Reds count the cost of their 1-0 loss to league leader Brisbane Roar at Hindmarsh Stadium on Sunday night.

Adelaide United coach Rini Coolen has urged Football Federation Australia to rethink hectic scheduling as the Reds count the cost of their 1-0 loss to league leader Brisbane Roar at Hindmarsh Stadium on Sunday night.

United finished the match with 10 men when midfielder Joe Keenan was stretchered off in injury time with a suspected broken leg while Marcos Flores, Cassio and Nigel Boogaard are all in doubt for the Reds next match against Melbourne Victory on Sunday.

Coolen refused to use the scheduling debate as an excuse for the defeat but admitted five games in 17 days had sapped the energy from his squad and could be the reason why players have succumb to fatigue-type injuries.

"Playing games like we have, five games in 17 days and a lot of away games that causes you some problems," he said.

"It wasn't the reason that we lost the game, definitely not, but it could be the reason that we lost some players."

"I think Joe Keenan could be out long term. I think it could be something broken as well. Boogaard had some problems and we have to find out if he misses another game again."

"At half time we had some problems with players. Flores wasn't 100 percent fit anymore. Cassio had a problem with his hamstring so we have to take care of that and I'm not sure if he can play next week either."

United's gruelling fortnight has seen the Reds travel to Perth and Gosford back-to-back, before their frantic festive season culminated with defeat in the top-of-the-table clash against Brisbane Roar.

Coolen admitted there had been little time to prepare and train with the hectic schedule restricting the Reds to mostly just recovery sessions between matches.

The Dutchman acknowledged while his side are not the only club to feel the pinch of the heavy workload, the 'fitness and freshness' of his squad certainly played a part in the loss.

"It's all about the fitness of our team at the moment and it's all because of the schedule," he said.

"We have a few players who are not fresh and fit anymore, we're definitely not fresh anymore. There were almost not enough training sessions, there were just recovery sessions between games."

"I don't blame anyone for it, but it's definitely to do with the freshness of the players and the schedule of the last few weeks."

"Every team has the same problem. The players are professionals and they train hard so we don't have to feel sorry for them but you need time to recover."

Coolen reignited the debate over squad sizes saying the current 23-man roster isn't large enough to handle so many games in such a short period.

Since his arrival, the Dutchman has made it his personal quest to see the FFA increase squad numbers for A-League teams.

"Every club has had the problem at some time so it isn't fair to say only we've had it," Coolen said.

"I think it is something to think about. We don't have big squads like in Europe, 30-35 players. They'll play a midweek fixture once every two weeks not two or three in a row, they have bigger squads so they can rotate players."