Interim Perth coach Ruben Zadkovich has raised player welfare concerns due to the A-League's hectic schedule as injuries mount for Glory.
The toll on players due to the A-League Men's gruelling schedule is creating a legitimate player welfare issue, Perth Glory interim coach Ruben Zadkovich says.
Player Welfare Concerns
- A-League's welfare issues have been highlighted by Perth's Ruben Zadkovich.
- The interim coach criticizes the league's hectic schedule.
- Glory currently have a dozen players sidelined due to injuries.
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Already being forced to field a team of inexperienced youngsters thanks to a massive injury list, Zadkovich fears he's lost two more players following a 1-0 loss to Melbourne Victory at HBF Park.
Spanish attacker Adrian Sardinero lasted only eight minutes of Wednesday's game before having to come off while youngster Adam Zimarino battled through the closing stages with an ankle complaint which is set to rule him out of Sunday's trip to Newcastle.
With over a dozen players already sidelined, including Bruno Fornaroli (ankle), Daniel Sturridge (groin), Brad Jones (knee) and Brandon O'Neill (shoulder), Zadkovich says the scramble to clear the backlog of games created by COVID-19 disruptions earlier in the season is taking its toll.
"I'm sure everyone's doing the best they can but I think we've had the rough end of the stick a little bit worse than other teams," Zadkovich said.
"We've travelled away to Sydney to play Wellington. Back here to play midweek against Newcastle. Away to play Macarthur. Back here to play midweek against Victory.
"Away to Newcastle on the weekend. Back down and play Wellington in Sydney midweek. Away to Launceston against Western United...
"We're getting one training session, which is recovery plus tactical for me, so I'm cramming everything I can into these boys because I'm a firm believer of what I want to achieve and what the boys are capable of.
"Bit by bit, we lose more and more players and the task at hand grows and gets even harder."
With Sardinero and Zimarino joining the injured list, Zadkovich will again have to draw on the club's youth for Sunday's trip to face the Jets.
The loss to Victory extends Perth's winless run to 11 games and has them rooted to the bottom of the ladder, six points behind second-last Western Sydney with six matches to play in their season.
Despite the challenges, Zadkovich says he's still fighting to try and avoid the club picking up the first wooden spoon in their history.
"We'll keep building and we'll just look for room to improve," he said.
"There's still so much that these young boys can learn in these last few weeks and we're going to squeeze as much out of them as we can."
The full A-League Men's schedule can be found using this link.