Coyne to cash in

Perth coach Dave Mitchell expects Chris Coyne to be fit and raring to go for Saturday's big clash with Melbourne, despite a lightning trip to China during the week.

Perth coach Dave Mitchell expects Chris Coyne to be fit and raring to go for Saturday's big clash with Melbourne, despite a lightning trip to China during the week.

Having played in the Glory's goalless draw with Sydney last Sunday, Coyne immediately headed to the People's Republic for a trial with Super League club Shandong Luneng.

Coyne is hopeful of securing a loan deal at Shandong that will see him play a full European-style season, ensuring he's match fit if called into Pim Verbeek's Australian squad for the World Cup in June.

Coyne was expected to link up with his Perth team-mates in Melbourne late on Friday.

Despite the long trip, Mitchell is confident Coyne will start alongside Andy Todd in central defence as the sixth-placed Glory begin a huge fixture of three games in six days against Victory, Adelaide and Wellington that could determine the club's finals chances.

"Chris is a bit of a hard nut you know," Mitchell said. "I'm pretty sure he's bullet proof."

"He's used to flying ... hopefully he'll come back in and there's no problems with him."

"I'm not sure what the situation is with him," Mitchell added when asked if Coyne had secured the loan in China.

"There's no contact come in there, so as far as we're concerned he's due in and part of our squad for the game."

Coyne and his fellow fringe Socceroos at Perth, Mile Sterjovski and Jacob Burns, are all wanting to secure an overseas loan during the January transfer period to further their World Cup ambitions. But, so far, Coyne appears the only player to trial overseas.

Mitchell will certainly be hoping Coyne's at his best against a Melbourne side which will want to atone for consecutive losses to North Queensland and Newcastle.

"I'm pretty sure they'll (Melbourne) be up for this one, 'cause they've lost second spot and they'll want to regain that, 'cause the race is on for them now," Mitchell said.

"And for us, it's an important game where we establish ourselves as a real contender for the competition. (So, there's) no better game than to go to Melbourne and prove the point."

Despite a 4-0 win over Newcastle on Boxing Day, Perth has generally struggled to score this campaign, its 26 goals the lowest of all top six sides. Indeed, the club has scored only 11 in the last 11 matches, consequently slipping from top-of-the-table contention to hanging onto the six after winning just twice in that period.

In that time, the Glory also haven't won any away games, making the consecutive matches in Melbourne and Adelaide vital for the club, ahead of playing Wellington at home.

Ahead of the tough trip, Mitchell said he's glad to have bolstered his squad with the addition of former Motherwell midfielder Steven McGarry and former Fury striker Daniel McBreen, who links up with Perth for the first time after trading places with Glory defender Jimmy Downey.

Mitchell's side has also been boosted by the return of striker Branko Jelic from an ankle injury, although it seems likely he'll be used off the bench.

Mitchell, though, says the extra players present him with a welcome selection headache as he deliberates whether to change a side that dominated the league leaders last weekend, without putting away the numerous chances created.

"I haven't decided my side yet you know," Mitchell said. "But I think the last couple of weeks they've done well, (so) whether you tweak it or not."