Saturday’s training session looms as decision day for Adelaide United Head Coach, Rini Coolen, as a number of his players sit under an injury cloud leading up to the trip across the border to face Melbourne Victory.
This week is proving to be one of the unknowing for Coolen as he waits to see which line up he will have at his disposal for Sunday’s match at AAMI Park.
On top of a host of Reds battling to be fit in time, Coolen has been dealing with another unwanted concern with new signing, Andy Slory, in doubt with a thigh problem.
The lightning quick former Dutch international has been slowed up by the setback and it is just the news Coolen did not need to hear after Slory’s international clearance came through overnight, meaning he is now free to take the field for the Reds.
Coolen has not ruled Slory out of making his Adelaide United debut on Sunday but admitted he could not make judgement until after the final training session and before departing for Melbourne.
“The last couple of days and during the last training session he (Slory) had some problems with his muscles,” Coolen said. “It doesn’t have to be a big problem but we have to find out how it is…and like all the injured players, we have individual sessions and training on Saturday, so I’m trying to stay positive and I hope I can use them all, but I’ll find out Saturday.”
“As I said before, when it’s about muscles, we’re never going to take a risk, so we have to make smart decisions and focus on him still being available for Sunday.”
“But any kind of risk, not only with Slory but all the players, we can’t take that risk and maybe lose someone for six games, we can’t take that risk with the available players we have.”
Cassio (hamstring) and Marcos Flores (groin) have both been on modified programs since last Sunday’s game against Brisbane Roar, and together with Slory, if there are any doubts over their fitness come Saturday, Coolen will not risk them.
“Everybody is recovering from the period of the last two weeks, so it’s better for them to have individual sessions and build them up to the last training on Saturday,” Coolen said of the South American duo.
One risk Coolen did make was starting defender Nigel Boogaard, who missed close to five months with an ankle injury, for a third straight game in Sunday’s loss to the Roar. However, the flurry of games in quick succession has left Boogaard a nonstarter against the Victory due to a mild groin strain. Coolen opted to rest the defender to ensure that he is fit for the club’s following game on January 21 against North Queensland Fury.
“We took risk with him (Boogaard) in our last game, not a big risk, but a risk that if he got some reaction from that game (against Brisbane) more than likely he couldn’t play against Melbourne,” Coolen said.
“He was feeling perfect so we took that risk and let him play, but it will be too much for him to play another game on Sunday. If he was fresh at the moment we could think about it but more than likely we’ll prepare him for the next home game.”
For more information visit www.adelaideunited.com.au