Kenny Lowe says he kept wayward duo Andy Keogh and Josh Risdon in Perth Glory's starting line-up to avoid punishing the rest of the team for the transgressions of two players.Keogh and Risdon hit the headlines for the wrong reasons when they were arrested during a night out in Adelaide last weekend, prompting the club to impose heavy fines on the duo.
They retained their places in the first XI for the 0-0 draw with Melbourne City on Sunday, Lowe adamant the incident didn't warrant dropping two key men.
"They've done wrong," he said.
"They've had a penance to that. But I don't see why I need to add that to the team."
Quizzed on whether or not the incident, coupled with a Football Federation Australia investigation in salary cap irregularities, had negatively affected his squad, Lowe said: "No I don't think so."
"I think the spirit in our group is really good. We just now really need to be mentally tough to grind out the season. We don't shy away from things. We deal with them internally. There has been sanctions, they're the highest (we) can do under the collective bargaining agreement."
The coach was distinctly prickly when he addressed local journalists during the week in the wake of Keogh and Risdon's arrest. On Sunday the Glory boss admitted he could have handled the situation better.
"That's where you find out about yourself," he said.
"How did I cope in front of the media? Not very good."
While content to gain another point away from home, Glory's winless run now stretches to their last five matches, prompting the coach to acknowledge improvement is needed during the run-in to the finals.
"I'm glad I didn't have to pay to watch it," he said of Sunday's bore draw.
"We came to do what we had to do. We're quite happy with a point.
"There's still a lot of improvement required. We need to recapture a little bit of the form from earlier."
Lowe also revealed he had to twist the arm of Michael Thwaite to convince the skipper, an ever-present at centre-back late in his career, to venture back into a holding role.
"It was a bit of a gamble, I don't think he was keen to do it," he said.
"We talked him into it. Flipside is he says he's a midfielder now, so he wants more cash."