Adelaide United Head Coach, Josep Gombau, said despite injury concerns slightly hampering his defensive structure, his team will unquestionably be prepared for Saturday’s game against Central Coast Mariners.
A reoccurring quad injury to defender Dylan McGowan and a fresh injury concern to Nigel Boogaard’s knee has the pair in doubt for Saturday’s match. But Gombau isn’t overly worried, as he has full faith in his squad’s depth to fill any necessary holes in the starting XI.
“We have to check two players, but in this moment, McGowan isn’t ready to play and (Boogaard) is also (uncertain to play),” Gombau explained.
“McGowan has the same problem as the last game that he could not play – it’s in his quad. He started to train because he felt like he had recovered, but now he feels a little bit of the same problem.
“Boogaard has a problem in his knee from (training) yesterday. I’ve spoken with him and he’s told me that he doesn’t have a good feeling and so I’m not sure.
“We will try and check if they can train properly and (if so) they’ll be in the list. But
it’s better to wait for one more week so (they) can be available for the next game (if possible).
“We have Malik who’s a central defender, but we can take someone from the youth, or we can play with three (at the back), or we can put Elrich there who can do well, or Isaías. We will see, but in the end it’s part of the game and if we have injuries, there’s nothing we can do.”
The match against the Mariners could also see Spanish forward, Miguel Palanca, debut for the Reds, a little less than a week after joining the club. However, Gombau said whilst he is almost certain to feature, he will be eased into in the squad gradually because of the quick turnaround since his arrival.
“(Palanca) is ready and he’s been training the whole week,” Gombau said.
“He will be in the list (for this game), but we need to think that he just arrived and he’s come from Spain that’s in winter and (where he was living) it was snowing. So for his body it would be difficult to adapt and we don’t want to rush, but he’ll be in the list.
“But he’s a player that has a lot of experience and he can bring to us a lot of things. He’s a player that can play in different positions at the front not just as a seven and we’ve brought him in for this.”
Gombau also shed light on his thoughts for the remainder of the season and highlighted the necessity to be amongst the top two at the end of the campaign to secure Asian Champions League football, as well as giving the team the best chance in the finals.
“I think that (finishing in the top two) is very important. I think this is the objective for all of the clubs.
“To (finish second and to) play finals at home brings to you a little bit of an advantage because you play in front of your fans and in your stadium and your environment. But it also brings to you the AFC Champions League, which is important also.
“This needs to be the aim. It’s not an easy challenge, but we have this mentality and we will try to take it game-by-game like before, but thinking that this needs to be our target.
“We’re a team that is strong when we’re together.”
Adelaide United will play Central Coast Mariners in Round 16 of the 2014/15 Hyundai A-league season on Saturday, 7 February at Central Coast Stadium. Kick off will be at 4.30pm ACDT.
Saturday, 7 February 2015
Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-Off: 5:00 PM (Local) (5:00 PM AEDT)
Referee: Alan Milliner
Assistant Referee 1: Lance Greenshields
Assistant Referee 2: Andre Giev
Fourth Official: Adam Gehrig
TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 92.5 ABC Central Coast, 891 ABC Adelaide & ABC Local Radio SA, Grandstand Digital Adelaide, Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app. Coast FM (Central Coast)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #CCMvADL
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Matthew NASH (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5.Zac ANDERSON, 7.John HUTCHINSON (c), 8.Nick MONTGOMERY, 9.Mitchell DUKE, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 12.Liam REDDY (gk), 14.Travis MAJOR, 15.Matt SIM, 16. Liam ROSE, 18.Glen TRIFIRO, 19.Matt SIMON, 20.Anthony KALIK, 25.Eddy BOSNAR **two to be omitted**
Ins: 1.Matthew NASH (gk) (promoted), 15.Matt SIM (promoted), 16. Liam ROSE (promoted), 20.Anthony KALIK (promoted), 23.Isaka CERNAK (promoted)
Outs: 17.Richard VERNES (shoulder – indefinite), 30.Adam PEARCE (gk) (Not selected)
Unavailable: 21.Michael NEILL (foot – indefinite)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (GK) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 5.Osama MALIK, 7.PABLO SÁNCHEZ, 8.ISAÍAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Awer MABIL, 18.Jimmy JEGGO, 19.Miguel PALANCA, 20.Paul IZZO (GK), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 24.Bruce KAMAU, 32.Nathan KONSTANDOPLOUS **one to be omitted**
Ins: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (returns from international duty), 19.Miguel PALANCA (new signing), 32.Nathan KONSTANDOPLOUS (promoted)
Outs: 14.Cameron WATSON (calf – 1 week), 30.John HALL (gk) (omitted)
Unavailable: 4.Dylan McGOWAN (hamstring – 1 week), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – indefinite)