Trying times for Fury

North Queensland Fury Football Operations Manager Robbie Middleby said the players of the embattled Townsville-based team need to be acknowledged for their efforts during what he has described as 'trying times' for the club.

North Queensland Fury Football Operations Manager Robbie Middleby said the players of the embattled Townsville-based team need to be acknowledged for their efforts during what he has described as 'trying times' for the club.

His claims come after a lacklustre 2-0 loss against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night, a result that could have easily ended with the home side piling on four of five goals.

The Fury were without a host of first choice players, including captain Ufuk Talay who was suspended for the clash, and even coach Franz Straka failed to make the trip to Adelaide, instructed by his doctor to stay in Townsville with a severe flu.

Assistant coach Stuart McLaren had been slapped with a club-imposed media ban so Middleby fronted the media and said the best way the Fury can respond is to return to Townsville and show some character ahead of matches against Sydney and league leader Brisbane.

"We need to give credit to the boys, it's difficult times at the moment at North Queensland," Middleby said.

"We have got a lot of character in the team but it is trying times. We've got to bounce back, we've got Sydney on Wednesday and Brisbane on Saturday. We need to get back to Townsville and get some pride back into us."

Acting captain Gareth Edds said the absence of Straka would not be used as an excuse, sentiments echoed by Middleby, who acknowledged the presence of the former Czech Republic international was missed.

"That doesn't matter. At the end of the day we have to go out there and perform. We didn't do it today and we need take a good, hard look at ourselves and move forward," Edds said.

"He'll be back, he was so disappointed not to be here. He was missed but like Gareth said we stick to a game plan, it's no excuse. He is a character and he is great for the team but it's no excuse," said Middleby.

Edds denied the controversy surrounding the Fury is affecting the players but the disappointing performance on Friday night suggests otherwise.

The Fury's future for next season remains in doubt and the club cannot re-sign players for the upcoming campaign and have this week already lost young gun Chris Payne to the Newcastle Jets and talented midfielder Osama Malik who will return to Adelaide in April, 2011.

Edds said the Fury will band together and continue to battle through the uncertainty.

"That doesn't affect the players. We need to concentrate on the games and concentrate on performing and getting results and that's what we're about," he said.

"We'll battle through. We've played quite well the last few weeks and as a unit we're strong together and we'll hold together and galvanise and rebuild and look for Wednesday."

Reds coach Rini Coolen admitted during the week he was a keen admirer of Fury's style of play and Edds agreed North Queensland have produced quality football this season.

The former Nottingham Forrest player also acknowledged quality football counts for little if the Fury are on the wrong side of results.

"We play great football. We've played great football all season," he said.

"We need to try and get a few more results and that's what football is about. You need to get results on the board and if we do it will give Townsville a boost."