Glory Head Coach Kenny Lowe has confirmed that Diego Castro could return to action in Saturday’s Round 10 clash with Newcastle Jets at nib Stadium (kick off at 7pm WST).
The Spanish star has missed the last three games due to a calf injury, but trained strongly this week and participated fully in Friday’s lively session at McGillivray Oval, leaving Lowe hopeful of factoring the marquee man into his selection thoughts.
“Diego’s a possibility to start,” he said.
“He’s probably 100% to be involved, but we’ll assess tomorrow to check there’s not been a delayed reaction to the three or four sessions that he’s done this week.
“We’ll give Cas, Andreu and Andy [Keogh] every opportunity to play tomorrow.
“Having the likes of those three around the training ground is great because they are good people who drive the standards and others look up to them.”
The Jets will head west flying high in second place, having scored a competition-best 21 goals.
But while aware of the threat posed by Ernie Merrick’s in-form side, Lowe insisted that his charges have been concentrating very much upon themselves.
“Obviously we know what Newcastle have got,” he said, “but the big focus is on ourselves doing what we do well.
“We want to take the game to them at home and win it.
“We’ve put in some very good defensive performances recently. We’ve worked ever so hard with the personnel that we’ve had available.
“And remember, it’s not just the defence, it’s the whole team and a lot of the personnel we have in at the moment are young and experienced and coping very well.
“We’ll take the positives out of the Mariners game last week, but we won’t dwell on it.
“We’ll focus on what’s happening here and now and making sure we get the three points.
“No game is more important than the game tomorrow.”
Although Glory are currently sitting seventh, they could move into the top four with a victory on Saturday and the tightness of this season’s competition is something that has not been lost on Lowe.
“It’s a tough league because there’s nothing between any of the teams,” he said.
“No-one has broken away at the bottom, Sydney have a little run on people at the moment at the top, but from second to second-last, it’s only a handful of points.
“So if you put a run together you fly up and if you don’t, you fly down.”
The Jets arrived in Perth on Thursday and are expected to welcome the league's top scorer, Roy O'Donovan and key midfielder Wayne Brown, back into their match day squad.
You can save 50% on gate prices for tomorrow’s game and next Saturday’s clash with Wellington Phoenix by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2jsaJUl
Saturday, 9 December 2017
Perth Glory v Newcastle Jets
nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-Off: 7:00 PM (Local) (10:00 PM AEDT)
Referee: Adam Kersey
Assistant Referee 1: Josh Mannella
Assistant Referee 2: Matthew Southern
Fourth Official: Adam Fielding
Video Assistant Referee: Mathew Cheeseman
Radio Broadcast: myfootballnation.com (6PR). ABC News on Radio, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Listen App – A-League Live.
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PERvNEW
Perth Glory Squad: 2.Alex GRANT, 4.Shane LOWRY (c), 5.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 8.Xavi TORRES, 11. Mitch MALLIA, 13 Nick FEELY (gk), 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Joseph MILLS, 19.Joe KNOWLES, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 24.Callum TIMMINS, 26.Jacob ITALIANO, 29.Jeremy WALKER, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 34.Yagoub MUSTAFA
**one to be omitted**
Ins: 24.Callum TIMMINS (promoted)
Unavailable: 3.Marc WARREN (ankle – 4-5 weeks), 7.Joel CHIANESE (collar bone – 1 week), 9.Andy KEOGH (groin – 1 week), 22.Adam TAGGART (hamstring – 1-2 weeks), 17.Diego CASTRO (calf – 1-2 weeks), 18. Andreu GUERAO (calf – 1-2 weeks), 23.Scott NEVILLE (groin – 1-2 weeks), 25.Daniel STYNES (hamstring – 1-2 weeks)
Newcastle Jets Squad: 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimitri PETRATOS, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Wayne BROWN, 12.Mario SHABOW, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Nick COWBURN, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 19.Kosta PETRATOS, 20.Glenn MOSS, 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 24.Joe CHAMPNESS, 30.Ivan NECEVSKI, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 9.Roy O’DONOVAN (promoted), 10.Wayne BROWN (promoted)
Unavailable: 1.Jack DUNCAN (foot – 5 weeks), 8.Ronald VARGAS (ankle – indefinite) 17. Daniel GEORGIEVSKI (knee – 2 weeks)