Kurz confident in Adelaide’s depth after losing three key players to Olyroos duty

Marco Kurz was left incensed by the fact he will lose three key players to national team duty for potentially the entire month, starting with Adelaide United’s trip west to Perth Glory.

The fifth-placed Reds take on the sixth-ranked Glory on Friday night and will be desperate to bounce back from a frustrating 2-1 home loss to Brisbane Roar.

Kurz said his players have moved on from the game after analysing areas for improvement.

“Today it was the first training session (since Saturday’s loss against Brisbane),” he said.

“The boys look good… after the game we had a good recovery and a good team meeting about the game.

“And now we are looking forward to the strong and important away game in Perth.”

Kurz will be without Paul Izzo, Ben Garuccio and George Blackwood, who are on international duty at the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship hosted in China.

An independent arbitrator dismissed the Hyundai A-League clubs’ argument about having the right not to release players.

As a result, depending on how the Olyroos fare at the tournament, the trio could miss up to five Hyundai A-League matches.

Kurz said it would be a challenge during the busy month and was disappointed by the outcome.

“They’re three starters and for us it’s very hard and also I think it’s not the best decision from the national team (FFA),” he explained.

“I think it’s a tournament you can only win a title, it’s not a qualification tournament.

“For example Paul Izzo, he can only play this tournament but not the Olympics and from my point of view it’s better he plays in the A-League.

“… Also when the players are away maybe for five games they can lose their starting position and I think we are one of the only clubs with three players who are three starters.

“That’s not positive but I hope we find the right decisions and the right line-up for the next games.”

The German refuted claims he has been effectively ‘penalised’ for giving youth players a go and said their absence now provides an opportunity for other fringe players in the squad.

“No I’m not punished it’s a new chance,” he said.

“It’s a new chance I know for example Daniel Margush if he plays he could make mistakes.

“But it’s okay, he’s in good shape and I’ve the confidence and belief in each player young or old.”

The ex-Schalke 04 defender revealed striker, Baba Diawara has returned to full training, and said Johan Absalonsen’s fitness will only improve with more minutes under his belt.

“It was the first time Baba (Diawara) trained with the team, he looks good,” he said.

“But we have two more sessions with the team before we travel to Perth and also Johan (Absalonsen) is back.

“He’s not one hundred per cent fit, it’s not possible (after a lengthy lay-off), but he’s ready to play again and that for me is positive.”

However, Kurz confirmed midfielder, Vince Lia, is ruled out for the upcoming weeks after sustaining the same knee injury which sidelined him earlier in the campaign.

Adelaide United will face Perth Glory in Round 14 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Friday, 5 January at nib Stadium. Kick-off is at 9.30pm ACDT.