All but five City ALM players had COVID-19
Ben McKay |
Melbourne City coach Patrick Kisnorbo has revealed the depth of his club’s COVID-19 crisis, saying all but five of his A-League Men’s squad have had the virus.
Wednesday’s FFA Cup quarter-finals are going ahead — at this stage — heavily shaped by COVID-19.
Adelaide United will be without coach Carl Veart and at least two players after they tested positive on Tuesday, with assistant Ross Aloisi leading the team against Melbourne Victory.
It’s not yet clear how City will line up when they face Wellington Phoenix, 17 days since they were last in action, with Kisnorbo to make an assessment on his players after Tuesday’s training.
“We’ve only had maybe five that haven’t had COVID … it’s been crazy,” he said.
“We have players that are available for selection (but) what the bench will be, I don’t know, what the starting 11 will be, I don’t know.”
“We have boys returning but how they feel, I don’t know.
“Some of the boys have only been training for two days.
“We’re going to be unknown. We have to adapt.”
Kisnorbo said current cases were limited to “two young boys”, and that coaching staff “had been OK”.
“The main thing is the health of the players is most important,” he said.
Wellington travelled to Melbourne last month for the fixture only to turn around and fly back to their short-term base in NSW when Football Australia postponed the game hours prior to kick-off.
Despite Kisnorbo’s concerns, Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay said they had an undertaking from head office the match would go ahead.
“We got information from the FFA the game is good to go,” he said.
“We need to play these games or there’s going to be a massive backlog.”
The Nix will miss two of their own as they recover from coronavirus, and Talay said the club may have avoided greater spread given players weren’t able to spend time with family over Christmas.
“The players are trying to be smart in the decisions they make,” he said.
“Hopefully not clubbing. Our players are pretty young … half of them wouldn’t get into nightclubs anyway.”
Star striker Gary Hooper returns after missing their last-out 4-0 loss to Adelaide United.
Wellington are in the last eight for the first time and eye an FFA Cup run as a tonic for four straight league defeats.
City’s most recent game was their pulsating pre-Christmas derby against Victory on December 18, which ended in a 2-2 draw.
Awaiting Wednesday’s winners in the last four are Central Coast, which beat three lower-league opponents to win through to the semis.
The fourth semi-finalist will be Sydney FC or Brisbane Roar, with their postponed match yet to be rescheduled.AAP