Baird back and Todd ready to start

Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell is preparing to unleash club champion Andy Todd against Newcastle in a big Friday night clash between the two sides.

Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell is preparing to unleash club champion Andy Todd against Newcastle in a big Friday night clash between the two sides.

Although Perth have lost young defender Scott Neville to international duty with the Qantas Olyroos for two matches, Mitchell has a more than handy replacement in former Blackburn skipper Todd, who has now fully recovered from pre-season knee surgery.

"Andy's ready now," declared Mitchell.

"He's had a couple of good weeks training under his belt and he's ready to play now, so Andy will slot in there (in defence)."

And with striker Michael Baird back in the squad after serving his two-match ban for simulation, the Glory are flying east with one of their strongest line-ups this season as they look to bounce back from last week's surprise home loss to Gold Coast United.

Although the starting XI hasn't been finalised, Mitchell said Baird was in the squad, although he cautioned the striker against any over-enthusiasm after a frustrating campaign so far, which also saw him miss the season's first three games after his former Romanian club refused to grant an international transfer clearance.

"Michael's all right," Mitchell said. "We've just said to him, 'look don't come back in a rush and be cool headed about things'."

"He's no problems, Michael, and you know he's just looking forward to get out there playing again."

Although the Jets haven't recorded a win yet this season, they have proved hard to beat, having drawn three of their five games so far.

The Glory were one of the sides to take the three points against Newcastle, beating them 1-0 in a tight Round 3 tussle at nib Stadium.

Mitchell said he sympathised with the club as they struggle off the field, having received a financial boost from Football Federation Australia last week.

But the coach felt the player's in Branko Culina's squad haven't been too distracted by the off-field events, Mitchell saying he's expecting a very tough encounter as the Jets look for their first win for 2010-11.

"They're a good side, they've been playing some good football and not getting the result," Mitchell said.

"So it's a dangerous game for us and one that we want to bounce back after last week."

"Newcastle, they'll be desperate for a win. It's unfortunate what's happening at the club at the moment and we wish them well, but not on the park when we play."

Although midfielder Steven McGarry took a heavy knock to the shin against Gold Coast United, the Scotsman trained strongly and doesn't look like missing this week.