Coyne to lead Glory

Perth defender Chris Coyne will captain the side in the absence of skipper Jacob Burns when the Glory take on Adelaide United in a blockbuster Friday-night clash at ME Bank Stadium.

Perth defender Chris Coyne will captain the side in the absence of skipper Jacob Burns when the Glory take on Adelaide United in a blockbuster Friday-night clash at ME Bank Stadium.

Former Colchester United captain Coyne will wear the armband after Burns was suspended for one match, having received a fifth yellow card this season last Saturday.

But coach Dave Mitchell was remaining tight-lipped as to who'd replace Burns in central midfield, although Jamie Coyne and Andrija Jukic are the leading contenders.

Indeed, Mitchell was in a particularly cagey mood on Thursday morning ahead of training, refusing to divulge what action he'd taken to overcome some flat performances in the previous two rounds.

The Glory still beat Newcastle and drew 1-1 with North Queensland over that period, but Mitchell was confident the lethargic showings were a thing of the past.

"There was a few things (wrong), but I'll keep them internal," Mitchell said. "I don't want everyone to know."

"The way we play, we want to switch play when we can (but) teams have worked us out and they've been very good in closing us down, so we want to combat that and that's what we'll try to do this week."

"(And), it's been good, the response has been good from the players," he said.

The Glory may have lost their previous four clashes with United, but will be boosted this week by the return of Branko Jelic to the run-on team, the Serbian striker recovering from the illness that saw him start off the bench last week.

Former skipper Jamie Coyne also seems the most likely candidate to replace Burns in the middle, having played alongside Wayne Srhoj in the position for most of last season.

Coming off a four-day break after drawing 1-1 with Newcastle last Monday, the Reds have suffered another setback, losing key midfielder Lucas Pantelis with a knee injury.

However, coach Aurelio Vidmar is confident Fabian Barbiero will do the job in his absence, the 25-year-old set to play his first game this season, having recovered from a bout of osteitis pubis.

Whoever Vidmar opts to play, Mitchell is more than aware his side has a battle on its hands, especially as Adelaide was the last team to enjoy a victory at ME Bank Stadium, in a 1-0 Boxing Day result last year.

"At the start of the season I said that (Adelaide plays an unexciting brand of football) and a lot of people scoffed," Mitchell said. "But a lot of people have been saying it since."

"But I think they've been playing a lot better (the last few weeks). They're well organised, they play good football now."

"Certainly from the stats, they've had a lot more passes and been playing better and creating more chances."

"I can't dictate what they are going to do," he added when asked whether he expected Vidmar to persist with his much-criticised 4-5-1 formation that's left striker Lloyd Owusu somewhat isolated up front.

"But they've got a formidable side, so whatever they do will be tough competition for us."