A-League news

Neill set to miss home debut

March 7, 2013
By ESPN Staff

Australia captain Lucas Neill has been ruled out of Sydney FC's clash against the Central Coast Mariners due to a calf muscle tear.

Lucas Neill has moved to the A-League to keep his international hopes alive
GettyImagesLucas Neill has moved to the A-League to keep his international hopes alive

Neill was due to make his home debut at Allianz Stadium on Saturday, but will be forced to wait after sustaining the injury at training on Thursday morning.

The news also comes as a blow to Sky Blues boss Frank Farina, who was counting on Neill's experience against the second-placed Mariners.

"He (Neill) won't play Saturday but he will hopefully be OK for the Victory game next week," coach Frank Farina said on Thursday.

"He thought his calf was just tightening up after the Perth game but there's a small tear."

Neill's withdrawal tempered Sydney's announcement that they had re-signed club captain Terry McFlynn, Peter Triantis and Ivan Necevski on new deals.

Meanwhile, Farina backed former Socceroos winger Brett Emerton to pick himself out of his current form slump heading into the finals series.

"Everyone has the right to their opinion (on Emerton's form) and I don't have an issue with it. But no one was speaking too much when Brett scored the winner against the Central Coast in the 90th minute, scores the equaliser against Melbourne Heart in the 89th minute or sets up the goal in Perth when we drew 2-2.

"By his own admission he probably feels like he can do more. Everyone has a right to their opinion but the only opinion that counts in this team and the eleven that go on the park is mine. Brett will play on Saturday," Farina explained.

Sydney currently sit in eighth spot on the table, but remain just one point out of the finals positions with four matches remaining in the season.