Glory bolstered for Central Coast clash

Perth Glory will be strengthened by the return of influential midfielder Wayne Srhoj for what is arguably the toughest assignment in the Hyundai A-League at the moment, a trip to Gosford to tackle the in-form Central Coast Mariners.

Perth Glory will be strengthened by the return of influential midfielder Wayne Srhoj for what is arguably the toughest assignment in the Hyundai A-League at the moment, a trip to Gosford to tackle the in-form Central Coast Mariners.

Srhoj is expected to be injected directly into the starting line-up and could also be joined by Socceroos striker Mile Sterjovski and former Dutch international Victor Sikora who both played parts from the substitutes bench last week.

Sterjovski has overcome a stomach bug that restricted his training before Perth-s 2-0 win against Sydney, while Sikora made a successful return to the pitch after a hamstring strain.

The key trio will be a welcome inclusion for Coach Dave Mitchell as he formulates a plan to contain a rampant Mariners attack that has in their past two matches put four past Melbourne and five against the Fury.

“Everyone is fit and eager to be part of the game which is a positive position to be in,” Mitchell said.

“To have the quality of Mile and Victor coming off the bench last week changed the game in our favour but both are very keen to play their part from the start this time around.

“We also have Wayne coming back in and I have a decision to make about how we line-up. There are a few options which is good for the side,” said Mitchell.

Glory favourite Jamie Harnwell could also play a role for Perth after recovering from a knee injury that has kept him sidelined for two months. The utility last played in Perth-s 4-2 away win against Brisbane in round seven and is itching to get back amongst the action.

Harnwell was part of Glory-s 16 man travelling party although Mitchell has indicated he is likely to take a cautious approach with the 32 year old and bring him back through the club-s youth league team.

“In the two weeks he (Harnwell) has been back to full training he has done everything and played in the games we-ve had and is feeling good,” Mitchell said.

“He travelled so he can train with us but I think he is most likely to take part in the Youth game on Saturday morning.

“Jamie wanted to play last week and I said no, I wanted to get another weeks training under his belt and that has been beneficial for him.

“He loves the club, he-s a club man, a former captain and a good honest guy who gives you everything he has got.

“Jamie is someone that is very important to the club. I like him as a player and think he adds a lot of value but ideally needs some game time before stepping straight back into the senior side.”

There was disappointment however for midfielder Scott Bulloch who has been forced out of the side with a thigh injury. Bulloch made his first start of the season last weekend and scored the opening goal of the game but will be forced to watch for at least two weeks.

“I though Scotty was great last week and it is unfortunate for him that he is missing out,” Mitchell said.

“It shows the character of the kid that he performed the way he did when he had a couple of tears in his thigh.”

Glory will complete their final preparations in a Thursday night training session on the Central Coast and have devised several game strategies to combat the Mariners forward thrusts.

“They (Central Coast) have that never say die attitude, even if you get a couple of goals they can come back. They-ve always been a very competitive side,” Mitchell said.

“I have known Lawrie (McKinna) for a long time and what he has done at that club has been fantastic. It-ll be a hard challenge for us no doubt but one that we will go into to put on a good show and get the result.”

Hyundai A-League 2009/10 - Rd 16 Central Coast Mariners v Perth Glory Friday, 27 November 2009 at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford

Kick-off: 5.00pm (AWST) Referee: Gerard Parsons

Perth Glory Radio Broadcast Partner: 6PR - 882am www.6pr.com.au - click here to listen.

Live & exclusive TV broadcast on Fox Sports 2 and Sky Sports 1.

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 2. Matthew CROWELL, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Brad PORTER, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Dean HEFFERNAN, 9. Nik MRDJA, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 15. Andrew CLARK, 16. Nigel BOOGAARD, 18. Alex WILKINSON (C), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Danny VUKOVIC (GK), 21. Ahmad ELRICH, 22. Nicky TRAVIS, 23. Adam KWASNIK *one to be omitted*

In: Matt SIMON (return from injury) Out: Nil Unavailable: Chris DOIG (quad - 3 weeks), Dylan MACALLISTER (leg - 1 week)

Perth Glory Squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3.Jamie COYNE, 4.Andy TODD, 5.Jamie HARNWELL, 6.Chris COYNE, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 8.Victor SIKORA, 10.Wayne SRHOJ, 11.Branko JELIC, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17.Todd HOWARTH, 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 20.Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 21.Mile STERJOVSKI, 28.Tommy AMPHLETT *one to be omitted*

In: Jamie HARNWELL (return from injury), Wayne SRHOJ (return from suspension) Out: Scott BULLOCH (thigh - 2 weeks) Unavailable: Jimmy DOWNEY (knee - 1 week), Brent GRIFFITHS (hamstring - 2 weeks), Anthony SKORICH (foot - 6 weeks)

*Head-to-Head: Played 13: Central Coast Mariners wins 9, Perth Glory wins 1 (3 draws)