Glory pay injury price
Three games in six days has left a host of Perth Glory stars in doubt for this Sunday's home A-League clash with the Central Coast Mariners, but coach Dave Mitchell is confident of moving a step closer to securing a finals spot.
The Glory had a gruelling week that started with a 6-2 loss in Melbourne, but finished with wins in Adelaide on Tuesday and back at ME Bank Stadium on Friday over Wellington to leave them in fifth position, but with injury concerns.
Captain Jacob Burns (hamstring) is certain to miss Sunday's clash with the Mariners, with Daniel McBreen (calf), Tando Velaphi (quad) and Mile Sterjovski (back) others under an injury cloud. Mitchell will make sure his team would never have a schedule like last week again.
"It was a tough two road trips to Melbourne and Adelaide, and then to back it up on Friday was really punishing. That's why I was so proud of the boys after the game on Friday with the way they responded and won the game. Now we're getting the war wounds from that punishing week," Mitchell said.
"We always knew there was going to be a mid-week game, but we played Sunday, Sunday, Sunday, Sunday and then all of a sudden had a mid-week game and played on a Friday afterwards. That's something that we have to be better at as a club to pick at better and stand up to the FFA when they dish something like that up, we have to request different dates."
Burns is the only certain injured player out with a hamstring tear, but Mitchell is hoping he's not out for long.
"Jacob Burns is definitely out. That's not good news, but it's probably due to last week. He was feeling it all last week but he actually wanted to play and got through it playing the captain's role," he said.
"Subsequently he's going to miss this week. He's just got a slight tear high up in his hamstring, so it's something that we have to monitor and we don't know how long it will take, but it shouldn't be too long. It could be one or two weeks."
McBreen has scored two goals in three games since signing with the Glory, but is joining the Mariners next season making this clash an intriguing one if he does suit up.
"McBreen is one of them that hasn't trained and is one who we have a question mark over, but I don't know if Lawrie (McKinna) has had a chat to him to say to sit out this game because he's with them next year," he said.
"Yes, he's playing against the club he's going to be at next year but he will want to do well for us and he wants to play in the finals. It was a great move for us to go and get McBreen and he's proved a good signing for us."
Goalkeeper Velaphi is also battling a quad strain with striker Sterjovski also in doubt with the already absent Victor Sikora suffering another setback. Mitchell is confident he has adequate replacements, though, in what is a crucial game for the Glory to almost make certain a finals berth.
"We've got Wayne Srhoj, Adriano Pellegrino was out last week and there's a couple of players who can come in. Scotty Neville wasn't involved and he could come back in, so there's a few players," he said.
"We're not in the finals yet. We are sitting in quite a good position, but we certainly have to get that mindset that we aren't in there yet. We have a great opponent on Sunday who haven't gone through the best of trots and want to change things. Anyone who has that mindset that we're in already is wrong, we're not."