Chill out, it’s a pre-season: Postecoglou
Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou has told A-League clubs to take a chill-pill after a spate of violent pre-season flare-ups.
Four players were sent off after a brawl in a ‘friendly’ between Newcastle and Wellington on Saturday night at Weston in NSW.
The incident came a week after rival fans clashed at a preseason trial game involving Sydney FC at Campbelltown.
With the season proper still more than six weeks away, Postecoglou says he’s at a loss to understand what’s going on.
“It doesn’t reflect well, that’s for sure,” he told reporters in Hobart.
“I saw some vision of it (Saturday’s brawl) and I don’t really understand it.
“I think players and coaches and everyone involved should probably understand this is pre-season.”
The two-time A-League winning former Brisbane coach said ill-discipline wouldn’t be tolerated at the Victory.
“I’d be disappointed if it was my team doing that,” he said.
“I think discipline’s part of getting your team ready.”
Football Federation Australia was reviewing the latest incident, which resulted in Jets defender Tiago and Phoenix trio Manny Muscat, Ben Sigmund and Andrew Durante being sent off in the 3-1 win to Newcastle.
A six-year-old boy was among those injured at the trial game.
The Victory are in Tasmania for two practice matches, against a state XI on Tuesday in Hobart before Friday night’s trial against Adelaide United in Launceston.
Postecoglou said all fit players would get some game-time against Tasmania, including a first hit-out with his new club for star signing Marcos Flores.
“We don’t have any stars,” Postecoglou said. “We’ll play everyone who’s available.
“The season’s slowly creeping up on us so it’s really important that we keep progressing what we’re working on.
“Our goal is to be ready to win on October 5.”
Victory captain Adrian Leijer has begun training with the squad after groin and hip injuries but says there is no timeframe on when he will play again.
The Phoenix later released a statement saying the three players who were red carded in the match had all been fined by the club and were likely to be stood down for some of the upcoming games on the pre-season tour of India.© AAP 2013
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