The injury problems continue for Gold Coast United with dynamic forward Maceo Rigters likely to miss Sunday's match against Adelaide.
The injury problems continue to mount up for Gold Coast United, with dynamic forward Maceo Rigters likely to miss Sunday's match against Adelaide at Skilled Park.
The Dutchman has been battling various ankle and foot problems all season, and was clearly under duress while taking part in Monday night's 4-0 thumping at the hands of Perth Glory.
The 28-year-old appeared to re-injure his ankle early on in the match but chose to continue - simply because the club is fast running out of fit players.
Key strikers Dylan MacAllister (hamstring) and Joel Porter (calf) have spent more time with the club physio than on the pitch this season, while Chris Broadfoot (ankle) hasn't been sighted at all.
Former Olyroo Tahj Minniecon, already out of favour at the club and linked with a move to Newcastle, has a heel issue which could sideline him for a further four to six weeks, while James Brown also missed the match against the Glory.
Goalkeeper Glen Moss (adductor) remains a long-term casualty, his understudy Jerrad Tyson has only just overcome wrist problems of his own, while midfield anchor Paul Beekmans has been released on compassionate grounds.
"There's a lot of players with injuries at the club so everyone's just trying to push themselves (to be fit enough to play) the next game," Rigters said on Thursday.
"It's hard for the team to step up and win games like that. We need to be tougher. It's hard for a team to come back after this, but we'll try."
Rigters revealed he has been playing with the aid of pain-killing injections, but said any decisions to play through injury were his alone.
"They (the club) can never force you to play," he said.
"You want to play for the team and you want to win, nobody wants to stay out of the team. You force yourself to play and even with pain, because you do it for the team."
"It's not a good thing. It's always going to get worse if you play on it but we were in a bad situation and we needed players. We haven't got many players left who can start."
"It's going to be very hard for me to be right for the next game, but we're working on it."
Along with the club's injury dramas, owner Clive Palmer's decision to delay contract renewal discussions with players has been a major source of frustration.
Rigters added his name to a growing list of players who are uncertain of their future at the club, including captain Michael Thwaite, star forward James Brown and classy midfielder Peter Jungschlager.
But that is not the reason for Gold Coast's poor form of late, particularly in their capitulation in Perth, according to the powerful winger.
"I never heard someone say 'I'm playing bad because I don't have a contract next year'. I don't think so," he said. "You're a football player, every time you're on the pitch you want to win."
"I like it here but I haven't got an offer so I don't know if I'm going to be here (next season). That's a situation for the club and I don't want to say anything bad about it. I can't help it."
"I'm not insecure about my future, but I know a lot of players' contracts finish here. That's up to the club, if they want to keep a player or not. I don't really think about it."