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Apr 12, 2022   |  2:54PM AET

Match Preview: Glory will grow through adversity – Zadkovich

Match Preview: Glory will grow through adversity – Zadkovich

Glory Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich is adamant that embracing the challenges of the present will ensure the club prospers in the future.

View his full media conference HERE.

The men in purple will be looking to bounce back from a heavy defeat at the hands of the Jets last time out when they take on Wellington Phoenix at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Wednesday (kick-off at 5.05pm WST).

And despite a crippling injury list and gruelling fixture schedule, the Head Coach believes that his charges will respond in the right manner and turn negatives into positives.

“How does anyone bounce back in adversity or from a setback?” he said.

“For me at a personal level, it’s hurtful to lose 6-1 and you try and grow through the adversity.

“When you look at the circumstances and the situation that we’re in, it gives you more clarity as to why and what we’re up against.

“There’s not much point, when it’s a three-day turnaround, to dwell too much on that result [ v Newcastle Jets] because we’ve had to quite quickly sharpen up and focus on improving and getting ourselves ready for Wellington.

“We have 13 of our 23-man roster unavailable, our captain’s out, our marquee’s out, our foreigner’s out, our record goalscorer at the club is out and when you add it all up, we’re playing a game every three days.

“We’ve got seven games in 21 days and five of the seven are away from home.

“We’ve got basically whatever is left from that first grade squad that is fit and available and 11 or 12 of my youth team.

“If you take all of that into the context of the situation that we’re in, then you soon realise that there’s not much point in dwelling on that result the other night.

“It’s about focusing on getting the boys up and about and giving them the best chance to put in a performance against Wellington.

“This is a situation I’ve inherited and I was brave enough to be there for the playing group when they needed a coach to get them through to the end of the season.

“I’m never going to let those players down… and I’ll always give my best to the situation.

“You do the best you can with what you’ve been given and we haven’t been given much at the moment.

“The scheduling, having a game every three days and travelling around the country with the youth team has its challenges.

“But I embrace the challenges and the hardships, I always have and I’m clear in my head what the long-term future needs to be for this club and I’m going to remain firmly fixed on what that looks like and trying to improve these players as individuals.”

Zadkovich went on to confirm that Spanish forward Adrian Sardinero has suffered a season-ending ACL injury, Osama Malik (foot) is also now sidelined and Adam Zimarino’s ankle problem will rule him out of Wednesday’s game.

As a result,17-year-old midfielder Chris Donnell and 20-year-old striker Joel Anasmo have been flown over from Perth to Sydney after impressing in the PGFC Academy First Team’s win over Stirling last weekend.

“They’re dropping at a rate of knots, but like I keep saying, it opens up an opportunity for another young player,” he said.

“That has to be the focus for the rest of this season; exposing those young guys and giving them the chance to grow.

“I’m just disappointed for Adrian on a personal level.

“It’s tough for him and bad timing for the club to lose another experienced player.

“Adam Zimarino is out as well and Ossie Malik hurt a bone in his foot at the weekend, so he’s flown back to Perth.”

Malik and Zimarino join the likes of Bruno Fornaroli (ankle), Brandon O’Neill (shoulder), Daniel Sturridge (groin), Andy Keogh (hamstring), Kosuke Ota (calf), Nick Fitzgerald (hamstring), Brad Jones (knee), Luke Bodnar (foot) and Carlo Armiento (knee) on the sidelines.

After discussing the injury situation, Zadkovich went on to outline his view of the road ahead and issue a message to the club’s Members and fans.

“The fans can’t take as much from a 17-year-old making his debut, even though we lose 1-0 at home, as what we can when we look inside this dressing room.

“So my focus will remain on those players, especially the young ones.

“I’m not going to take a backward step in any game and I’m not going to let the situation that I’ve been thrown into dictate my principles of how I want the game to be played or how I want to coach.

“My future will be dictated by how hard I work and how successful I am over a long period of time.

“It won’t be dictated by being the interim manager and the youngest coach in the league taking over a team that’s coming last with 13 out of 23 players unavailable, playing seven games in 21 days.

“It would be absurd for people to be judging me and my coaching abilities based on the current context of the situation.

“My frustration and my pain in this situation is the same as theirs [the Members and fans].

“No-one likes to lose and no-one likes to be down the bottom.

“My message to the fans is that this season is a write-off for us, there’s no denying it.

“But be proud of the young players who are putting their hands up in this situation and are going out there and wearing this pressure.

“Whilst frustrated and whilst hurting, stick with the club through thick and thin.

“Clubs will rebound, clubs will go through tough times.

“It’s about the ones who stay in the moment, don’t give up and keep pushing forward.

“That’s exactly what I’m planning on doing and I want to build a club and a team that makes people proud.

“At this moment, we don’t have that club and team and we need to rebuild it.”

Glory will face a Phoenix outfit whose recent form has seen a bizarre range of results including impressive 4-1 and 3-0 wins over Western United and Brisbane Roar and 5-0 and 6-0 defeats at the hands of Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne City.

The Kiwi side edged home 2-1 when the two sides met last month at Leichardt Oval and Ufuk Talak’s men remain in the top six heading into Wednesday’s return clash.

Jaushua Sotirio is their leading scorer this term with six goals, while imports David Ball and Gael Sandoval have contributed four assists each.

The Round 10 showdown will be the 47th meeting between the two clubs, with Glory having won on 20 occasions and Phoenix 18.

#OneGlory