The West

Burns days numbered
Jacob Burns. Pic: Getty Images

Perth Glory veteran Jacob Burns could be sacked or stripped of the captaincy this week as tensions between coaching staff and a group of senior players continue to rise.

A bitter feud has been building for several weeks and reached a flashpoint on Friday night following Glory's 2-0 defeat to Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.

Burns returned to the squad after serving a two-match suspension, but was an unused substitute as Glory's inexperienced line-up struggled to compete with the home side.

It is understood several players, including Burns, directly challenged Edwards after the match, leading to crisis talks between coaches, staff and players over the weekend.

Edwards, assistant Gareth Naven and chief executive Jason Brewer met yesterday and will plot a course of action in the coming days.

Edwards and Naven believe Burns is the leader of a player revolt against them, but it is understood several players have their own concerns about the direction of the club.

These revolve around Edwards' team selection and tactics, including perceived nepotism over his use of sons Ryan and Cameron, as well as his decision to move daily training sessions to an evening timeslot.

Burns has strong support from a group of senior players, sparking fears of a possible exodus if he is sacked.

The former Socceroos midfielder has been Glory captain since joining the club in 2009, playing 100 games.

But Burns' relationship with Edwards looks beyond repair and his Glory days appear numbered.

Naven, who spent six seasons as Glory captain from 1996-2002, yesterday blasted Burns for what he felt was a selfish display that had tainted the club.

"As a former captain of the club, I don't like to see the club be in this position," Naven said.

"When I was the captain of the club, it was really important to me that the priority always was the club, the behaviour of the club, the team and the players, and the integrity and humility you deliver as a captain.

"I've been highly disappointed with Jacob Burns' behaviour at the moment. He is trying to cause a revolt, which taints this club."

Edwards said his feud with Burns stemmed from a discussion over the player's future three weeks ago.

The coach said he refused to guarantee 35-year-old Burns a place in the team or a contract beyond this season, which he said the midfielder took exception to.

Burns could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic pledged his support to Burns via his Twitter account.

"@JacobBurns07 is the best captain I've ever played with," Vukovic tweeted.

"Great player, great guy and I've just heard a whole lot of BS said about him.

"He is Perth Glory through and through ... I will not sit back and have people say otherwise."

"He is Perth Glory through and through ... I will not sit back and have people say otherwise." "Glory goalkeeper *Danny Vukovic *

The West Australian

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