A six-hour delay at Melbourne airport has only added to the lack of pre-match preparation for Melbourne Victory ahead of their ACL playoff with Kashima.
Already feeling the pinch due to limited preparation, a lengthy airport delay was the last thing Melbourne Victory needed ahead of their Asian Champions League playoff.
Victory face Japanese club Kashima Antlers on Tuesday with a spot in the Champions League group stage on the line.
Forward Robbie Kruse says with interim coach Carlos Salvachua having been in position for less than a fortnight and a short turnaround from last Friday's A-League loss to Sydney FC, the build-up to the match has been less than ideal.
"We're new with Carlos now so we're taking time to adapt and it's difficult because we have no chance to train. It's just straight into games," Kruse said.
"We unfortunately had a six-hour delay at Melbourne Airport and then obviously to fly here in different conditions - it takes its toll.
"That's football, they've only just started their pre-season a couple of weeks ago hopefully that levels it out. We've had a tough schedule lately but the boys won't use it as an excuse. It's an exciting opportunity."
Victory will be without new signing Marco Rojas and Olyroos defender Thomas Deng for the do-or-die clash with the J-League giants.
Rojas' transfer came through after the Asian squad submission deadline while Deng won't be risked after his exertions with Australia's Under-23s, who secured an Olympic berth in Thailand over the past fortnight.
Victory have never won an Asian Champions League match away from Australia.
Despite that history, Kruse is talking tough with the winner of Tuesday's match earning a spot in Group E of the tournament alongside China's Beijing FC, Thailand's Chiangrai United and the winner of another playoff between South Korea's FC Seoul and Malaysian club Kedah.
"We're under no illusion of the task at hand, it's going to be difficult," the Socceroo said.
"Massive budget, excellent facilities but we've come here, we think we've got the squad to get it done."