Vidmar hoping for Jamieson return
Adelaide United coach Aurelio Vidmar is hoping Scott Jamieson will make it back in time from his trial in Germany to be ready for the Reds' crunch game against Shandong Luneng on match day six of the AFC Champions League.
Adelaide United coach Aurelio Vidmar is hoping Scott Jamieson will make it back in time from his trial with German second division club Greuther Furth to be ready for the Reds' crunch game against Shandong Luneng on match day six of the AFC Champions League.
The Reds defender left his team-mates in Hong Kong and departed for Bavaria after United's 0-0 draw with Pohang Steelers in Korea last week.
The 21-year-old faces the prospect of being grounded in Germany due to the eruption of an Icelandic volcano that has seen European Airports closed and all flights across the continent halted because of volcanic ash.
"We're not sure what's happening with Scotty at the moment," Vidmar said after United's training session on Tuesday.
"Obviously with the problems with the flights going out of Europe, but we can't worry about that, there isn't much we can do. We can't clear the sky. We'll just wait and see. We're expecting Scotty back on the Sunday."
Jamieson was expected to arrive on Wednesday, a week before the Shandong clash on Tuesday April 27, but the more likely scenario is that he will return on Sunday, two days before the game.
This could place the left-back's position in the starting XI in doubt, with a massive itinerary scheduled for the flight home.
Jamieson would leave Frankfurt on Friday and pass through Doha in Qatar, before stopping in Hong Kong en route to Adelaide.
"We'll just have to see how he pulls up. We'll give him every opportunity." Vidmar said.
Looking ahead to the game against Shandong, Vidmar remains focussed and optimistic in sewing up top spot in Group H and securing an all-important home match in the round of 16.
A win against the 'Real Madrid of China' would put the result beyond doubt, but United could still manage top spot with a draw, provided Pohang draw or lose in Japan against Sanfrece Hiroshima.
"We've done very well to get ourselves into the round of 16 and we're very confident going into this game here on the 27th (of April)," he said.
"We're also very confident about May 12th (round of 16 match) but we can't worry about that yet."
"We have got to make sure we get everything right for this game against Shandong first and build up a bit of momentum, again, then look forward to the round of 16."
The permutations for that round of 16 match are endless with top spot in Group F, United's opponents, also up for grabs.
Kashima Antlers of Japan lead the group by three points from K-League side Jeonbuk Motors with the match day six clash pitting the sides against each other in Kashima to decide top spot.
If Jeonbuk record an upset win it would mean the Korean side top the group and earn the Greens a home final while a draw or a Kashima win keeps the top two as is.
The worst possible outcome for Vidmar and his troops would be to surrender top spot to the Steelers and see Jeonbuk leapfrog Kashima to the top of Group F.
This would set up a gruelling road trip to the Greens' home ground in Jeonbuk and have United make a 400km bus trip to the stadium after touching down in the Korean capital, Seoul.
The Reds boss was clear as to which option he prefers.
"It is a nightmare (the trip to Jeonbuk) which is why we would prefer to play the game at home," Vidmar said.
"It's an added advantage playing at home, big disadvantage going to Jeonbuk. There's a flight to Seoul and then three or four hundred kilometres on a bus because there's no flights out there. So it's difficult and probably good motivation for us to make sure that we win this game (against Shandong)."