Captain Michael Beauchamp and midfielder Aaron Mooy are in a last-ditched battle to prove their fitness for the NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers’ final round clash with Newcastle Jets on Friday.
Captain Michael Beauchamp and midfielder Aaron Mooy are in a last-ditched battle to prove their fitness for the NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers- final round clash with Newcastle Jets on Friday.
Central defender Beauchamp and Mooy were training with the team on Thursday in an attempt to make the starting line-up in an injury and suspension-impacted Wanderers squad.
Coach Tony Popovic said the players and the medical staff would make the decisions based on how they pulled up after the training session.
Both are expected to travel to Newcastle to give them every opportunity to play.
Popovic said that marquee man Shinji Ono and defenders Jerome Polenz and Adam D-Apuzzo would all miss the Jets match as the Wanderers tried to secure the Premier-s Plate.
The Wanderers need a win or a draw to be Premiers in their first ever year.
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Popovic said it was too close to call whether Beauchamp and Mooy would play.
“The rest are doing their best to be available tomorrow,” Popovic said.
“Hard to say really, they trained on their own yesterday and we will try and put them through their paces now but if they are not fully fit they won-t play.
“If the medical staff says they are 100 per cent and if mentally they believe they are 100 per cent then they will play.”
Popovic said he would not take risks because he had depth in the squad as evidenced against Sydney FC last week.
“We always go with players that are fully fit and there is no point risking a player that is 60 per cent,” he said.
Ono-s groin injury was not as serious as first thought, he said.
“We are still hopeful he will be available for the semi-final and the scans did not reveal too much damage and that is encouraging for us and he is in a positive frame of mind,” Popovic said.
“We are still optimistic he will be available for that game (the semi-final).
“He is very important as he is our marquee player and our creative spark and when he has not been available the players that have come in have done a great job.
“You have to take it as it comes and we have had a great run and that is why this game is great as you can-t take anything for granted.”
The club will also be without utility Iacopo La Rocca who was suspended for four matches after an incident in the 95th minute last week.
“It was disappointing to the club and me and the player,” Popovic said.
“It was a moment of madness and he knows that himself and we have dealt with that and we put that behind us and we move forward now.”