Perth Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic says the club’s tumultuous week left the players mentally drained going into yesterday’s scoreless draw with Adelaide Untied at nib Stadium.
Glory’s football department was split by the explosion of a bitter feud between coaching staff and players, culminating in the sacking of Alistair Edwards as coach last Tuesday.
The effect the turmoil had on the players was obvious in a tired performance, during which Glory created few clear-cut chances to score but were solid in defence.
“It was a long, tough week for everyone and I think that showed in our performance,” Vukovic said.
“I think there was a little bit of negativity surrounding the performance but I like to look at the positives and it was the first time we’d kept a clean sheet in two months and we came up against an in-form team, so we’ll build on that.
“We know we need to create more chances and hopefully we can work on that this week.
“It was nice to get it out of the way. It was a long week with a lot of media coverage and it was a tough one for everyone, so just to get through it and come away with a good point I think people were pretty happy with it.
“It was certainly mentally draining. It was tough on everyone. The events that transpired, no one really wanted to happen, but they did.
“The club made the decision that they did and now we just need to move on. But it was a tough week and it showed in our performance.”
The week from hell got worse for Glory when Japanese winger Ryo Nagai suffered what looked to be a serious hamstring injury during the second half against Adelaide.
Nagai was carried off the ground and left the stadium on crutches.
He was sent for scans and the club should know the full extent of the injury in the coming days.
It was the latest in a long line of injuries that have combined to hurt Glory’s finals chances this season.
Marquee men Shane Smeltz (ankle) and William Gallas (calf), full-backs Scott Jamieson (Achilles) and Josh Risdon (knee), and veteran attacker Travis Dodd (knee) were all unavailable for the Adelaide game.
In positive news, Brazilian winger Sidnei returned from a hamstring injury to play a role off the bench in the second half.
“It’s amazing the injuries that we’ve copped this season and Ryo’s looked a bad one,” Vukovic said.
“He left the ground on crutches and he’s getting scans, so we’ll find out more and hopefully it’s not a long one.
“Another positive was getting Sidnei back. He came on and got a few minutes into his legs and hopefully we’ll see more of him next week.”
Glory will have a short break over Christmas before heading east for games against Central Coast (December 31) and Newcastle (January 4).
Vukovic was looking at the positives of what looks on paper to be a tough ask to get some much-needed wins away from home.
“We’re away for an extended period. It will be good to spend some time with the boys and get away from all the media and stuff like that,” Vukovic said.
“Two tough games but two games we believe we can do well in so it can really set our season up.”
Newcastle have signed former Glory midfielder Nick Ward as cover for injured defender Scott Neville, who suffered a season-ending knee injury earlier this month.
Ward, 28, has been training with Sydney FC for several weeks and is available to play in the Jets’ next match against Adelaide on December 29.