Thursday, November 15, 2012
Glory to assess star A-League pair
By Justin Chadwick
Star Perth Glory pair Shane Smeltz and Michael Thwaite will attempt to shake off a case of jet lag to take their place in Sunday's A-League clash with Western Sydney Wanderers at nib Stadium.Thwaite played a full game in the Socceroos' 2-1 friendly win over South Korea in Hwaseong on Wednesday, while Smeltz came off the bench in New Zealand's 1-1 draw with China in Shanghai.The pair only arrived back in Perth on Thursday night, but are both set to be named in Perth's squad if they can safely negotiate their way through Saturday's training session.Smeltz, who has had just 45 minutes of game time since returning from a hamstring injury, is again likely to come off the bench, but Thwaite is in line to retain his starting role.Thwaite normally is in the heart of defence for Perth, but Glory coach Ian Ferguson was happy for the 29-year-old to play at left back for the Socceroos before switching to a defensive midfield role."It was good for him and good for the club," Ferguson said."But we like playing him in the centre of defence where he gives us a lot more quality than what we've had in previous years."Japanese star Shinji Ono will headline a Wanderers outfit that sits seventh on the ladder with seven points from six games.But Glory's own Japanese player - Ryo Nagai - is almost certain to miss the match after copping a knock to his knee.Fourth-placed Glory have snared three wins and a draw from their six games this season, and are aiming for their fourth straight triumph at home this season.