Tomi Juric looks set to join Matthew Spiranovic on the injured list for the Socceroos international friendlies next week after Western Sydney Wanderers FC coach Tony Popovic said the duo aren’t fit.
The pair missed the Wanderers 2-1 loss to Newcastle Jets on Saturday, which has seen the club drop back to the bottom of the Hyundai A-League ladder.
Spiranovic picked up a hamstring injury in the clubs ACL clash in Korea on Wednesday, while Juric pulled out in the warm-up with a groin problem.
With the Socceroos due to depart for Europe on Sunday for their matches against world champions Germany next Wednesday and Macedonia five days later, Spiranovic and Juric both look likely to miss out.
Socceroos medical staff will make the final call on the pair but are unlikely to take any risks.
“For me he [Juric] didn’t do a warm-up on Wednesday, he’s ruled out tonight injured and if he stayed here in Sydney it would be highly unlikely he’d be involved next weekend,” Popovic said.
“It’s not a serious injury…But it’s not my decision [if he goes to Germany].
“They have to decide…if the Socceroos want to take him, they take him.
“But he didn’t play today so for me if he hasn’t played today, he’s not fit.”
Popovic said Spiranovic’s hamstring injury was not as bad as first feared, but he’s still likely to be sidelined for at least three weeks.
The pair’s absence – as well as injuries to a host of other experienced stars – meant the Wanderers started five teenagers in the bottom-of-the-table clash against the Jets.
Little-known Steve Kuzmanovski, Jonathan Aspropotamitis, Daniel Alessi, Alusine Fofanah and Jaushua Sotirio were all given rare opportunities in the first-team.
“For them, it would have been great if we had hit the lead. We would have relaxed a lot earlier but we made a couple of poor errors to be two down,” Popovic said.
“It’s the story of our season, we’re always chasing the game which is a lot of pressure for young players but I think a lot of them stood up.
“We probably needed a few of the senior players to take control in the first half and help them and maybe that wasn’t the case. But second half they all picked up and we grew into the game.
“There’s a lot of positives there, unfortunately they don’t celebrate it with a win.”
The result means the Wanderers go back to the bottom of the ladder, three-points behind the Jets but with a game in hand against Brisbane Roar on Wednesday night.
They will need to win at least one more game than Newcastle over the final five rounds to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon.
“No one wants to come bottom. We didn’t come into this game thinking we couldn’t win but the circumstances are what they are,” Popovic said.
“We’re losing good calibre players through injury and it’s difficult. We certainly don’t want to come last. We’re used to success here.”