Leckie learns the hard way
A frustrated Mathew Leckie is going to find out the hard way how to keep his cool after picking up his second yellow card of the AFC Champions League campaign.
A frustrated Mathew Leckie is going to find out the hard way how to keep his cool after picking up his second yellow card of the AFC Champions League campaign, which will rule him out of Adelaide United's round of 16 match against Jeonbuk Motors at Hindmarsh Stadium on May 12.
The fleet-footed, young midfielder expressed his disappointment at lashing out at his Shandong Luneng opponent but has vowed to learn from his mistake and cop his punishment on the chin.
"There were a couple of decisions not going our way," he said.
"There were a couple of their players going down for one or two minutes and I guess frustration just came into it. I guess that's something that I'll learn from, and something that I'll put in my memory bank heading into the rest of my career."
While feeling sympathetic for Leckie, Reds coach Aurelio Vidmar said the Adelaide United 2009/10 Rising Star would learn a lesson from the incident.
"It's a little bit of a lack of discipline from Matt," he said.
"Certainly when the cross was coming in he was being held back, but he didn't need to lash out and unfortunately he misses out on a very important game on May 12, but that's probably the best way you can learn."
Leckie has been central to United's success in the ACL, notching up two goals in the group stage with a wonder strike on the opening day at Hindmarsh Stadium to seal a 1-0 victory for the Reds and a powerful diving header on match day two in the stunning 2-0 away victory over Shandong.
The speedster admitted he was clearly devastated in not being able to take part in what is certain be United's biggest match since the second leg of the ACL final at Hindmarsh Stadium against Gamba Osaka of Japan in 2008.
He admitted though he will take the suspension in his stride and learn from it.
"Definitely (I'm devastated)," Leckie replied.
"It's going to be a big game, probably one of the biggest games I would have played in, but obviously I'm not going to be out there which is unfortunate, but I've just got to take it on the chin and move on."
The Reds' cult figure plans to work hard on the training track and do whatever he can to offer support for his team mates leading up to the round of 16 knockout final.
"I can take a positive approach into training. Obviously I'm not going to be playing but I can bring a strong confidence boost to the team, talk to the boys and make sure they're ready for the game," he said.
"It's great for us to be able to play the round of 16 at home, it's a big positive for us because we always play well at home, so hopefully the boys can get a result if they play at their best."