Garcia: Castro return won't be rushed as red-hot Glory strike force continue to fire
Perth Glory coach Richard Garcia says he's in no rush to end Diego Castro's ten-month absence from A-League action, as long as his abundance of attacking talent continue to produce against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Tuesday night.
Castro hasn't featured in the A-League since March 14, 2020. The 38-year-old took part in Glory's AFC Asian Champions League campaign but a minor leg injury kept Castro out of his side's first two games of the 2020/21 A-League season.
The attacking midfielder is back in contention for Perth's clash with Victory but his long-awaited return to the fray comes in unusual circumstances, with Glory's attack flourishing in his absence - nine goals scored across Perth's opening two fixtures attest to that.
The off-season return of spearhead Andy Keogh has helped fellow strikers Bruno Fornaroli and Nick D'Agostino shine, whilst young gun Carlo Armiento has twice emerged from the bench to claim three goals and an assist.
Together the quartet have 12 goals and assists combined notched in just two games: a 5-3 win over Adelaide United and a 5-4 loss to Western United.
MATCH PREVIEW: Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory
REACTION: Rudan - Garcia and I could only laugh amid electrifying A-League epic
Garcia told the media on Monday afternoon that Castro will benefit from a patient approach to his return, and as long as his potent forward line continues to fire there is no need to rush the club legend back into his side.
"He's still on that borderline," Garcia said.
"We're still deciding on how people pulled up here, I think there's a few that are looking to go again and they're feeling good.
"If that gives us an opportunity to go that little bit longer without Diego, it's perfect for both sets of players (Diego and Perth's other attackers).
"If Diego is coming back from injury sometimes it's better to give him that extra bit of time to come back."
Garcia continued: "I'm going to have to freshen it up a little bit, but there's quite a few that have pulled up well.
"You want to try and use the whole squad, and that's one place where we've got healthy numbers."
Garcia takes his Glory squad to AAMI Park on Tuesday night to face Melbourne Victory, who are winless in two and desperate to earn their first points of the campaign.
While Perth have scored freely Victory have struggled to impact the scoresheet, with just one goal scored against Brisbane Roar in Matchweek 2.
That goal came off the boot of prized recruit Callum McManaman who is out of Grant Brebner's squad to face Perth through injury, along with fellow star signing Rudy Gestede.
The pair were prematurely withdrawn from Victory's 1-0 loss to Adelaide United on January 23, heaping the pressure on Elvis Kamsoba, Marco Rojas and Robbie Kruse to carry the goalscoring burden in the immediate future.
Goals and points have been hard to come by for Brebner's side to date, but against a Perth Glory outfit that has shipped eight goals in just two games Victory have the opportunity to shake their scoring woes and gun for their first points of the 2020/21 campaign.
Ins and Outs - Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matt ACTON (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Adama TRAORE, 5.Ryan SHOTTON, 6.Leigh BROXHAM (c), 8.Jacob BUTTERFIELD, 10.Robbie KRUSE, 13.Birkan KIRDAR, 14.Jay BARNETT, 15.Aaron ANDERSON, 16.Brandon LAUTON, 17.Elvis KAMSOBA, 19.Dylan RYAN, 20.Max CROCOMBE (gk), 22.Jacob BRIMMER, 23.Marco ROJAS, 25.Luis LAWRIE-LATTANZIO, 35.Zaydan BELLO
**0-2 to be omitted**
In: 16.Brandon LAUTON (promoted), 25.Luis LAWRIE-LATTANZIO (promoted), 35.Zaydan BELLO (promoted)
Out: 7.Callum McMANAMAN (injured – ankle), 9.Rudy GESTEDE (injured – hamstring)
Unavailable: 4.Nick ANSELL (injured - hamstring), 11.Ben FOLAMI (injured - knee), 32.So NISHIKAWA (injured - shoulder)
Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 5.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 10.Andy KEOGH, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Nick SULLIVAN, 17.Diego CASTRO, 18.Nick D'AGOSTINO, 19.Calllum TIMMINS, 20.Carlo ARMIENTO, 21.Bryce BAFFORD, 22.Josh RAWLINS, 23.Dane INGHAM, 24.Daniel STYNES, 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 33.Liam REDDY (GK), 34.Mason TATAFU, 37.Riley WARLAND, 88.Neil KILKENNY (C)
**1-3 to be omitted**
Ins: 17.Diego CASTRO (returns from injury)
Unavailable: 6.Osama MALIK (shoulder 2-3 weeks), 7.Chris IKONOMIDIS (knee – 4 weeks)
Featured NewsRead more
Goodwin vows to 'keep building' as Adelaide seal third win in a row
Craig Goodwin believes Adelaide can keep the momentum going after racking up their third straight win with a 2-1 triumph over the Newcastle Jets. Hometown hero Goodwin struck the winning goal in the 77th minute in his first match at Coopers Stadium in almost two years, after r
Goodwin shines on return home as Reds down Jets
Craig Goodwin proved the difference on his return to the City of Churches as Adelaide United sealed a 2-1 win against the Newcastle Jets. The Socceroos attacker showed his class by netting the 77th-minute winner at Coopers Stadium, his second goal in two games since arriving b
Signing news: Taylor is back in a Phoenix jersey
The Wellington Phoenix are excited to announce that Steven Taylor, their captain during the club's record-setting 2019/20 season, will be returning to the Phoenix for the remainder of the 2020/21 A-League season in Wollongong. ...: Wellington Phoenix and Wollongong Wolves Loo