Adelaide United FC has been hit by the ‘calf’ curse with a number of big names, including Captain Travis Dodd, ruled out of tomorrow night’s match against the Robbie Fowler led North Queensland Fury at Hindmarsh Stadium in Round 4 of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 Season.
The Reds have been ravaged by calf injuries leading into the game with Dodd, Brazilian Cassio and midfielder Fabian Barbiero joining Kristian Sarkies on the sidelines with lower leg complaints.
Dodd will miss his first Hyundai A-League match through injury since he ran out for United’s first game in the league back in 2005, the attacking midfielder only failing to make an appearance in two of The Reds’ 98 matches in the Hyundai A-League, due to suspension and international duty respectively. Vice-Captain Lucas Pantelis will lead the home team out in Dodd’s absence.
“It’s very disappointing but there’s not much you can do about it, you’ve just got to get on with it,” Vidmar said on Dodd’s unavailability.
“But we’ll still put out our strongest team and I’m still very confident we can get the three points, because we’re in a position already after four rounds that it’s a must win.”
The Reds sit eighth with a win and two losses from its three games, while North Queensland have not had the best start to their inaugural Hyundai A-League campaign, holding up the bottom of the table without a point.
Already six points behind league leaders Gold Coast United, Vidmar sees three points at home against the Fury as crucial, as The Reds look to make the most of its early run of home matches.
“When you lose your captain that’s not great, so in terms of all the dynamics that we’re trying to get out of the team it’s certainly not where we want to be, but the team that goes on the park tomorrow will service the team very well, I’m certain of that,” Vidmar said.
On the upside for The Reds, central midfielder Paul Reid is set to make an earlier than expected return from an adductor injury, while striker Lloyd Owusu and lively Korean midfielder Inseob Shin showed encouraging signs when they were introduced against the Gold Coast, suggesting they could both push for a place in the starting eleven.
Owusu’s possible debut start up front and the appearance of North Queensland’s marquee signing, former Liverpool and England striker Robbie Fowler, sets up a mouth watering shootout between two teams who have struggled to find the back of the net this season.
The Reds’ former Ghanaian international says he looks forward to having another chance to open his account for The Reds.
“If selected to start I’m more than happy to do a job for the team, if not, I’ll be on the bench and hopefully come on and change the game,” Owusu said.
“Every striker wants to score as many goals as they can and don’t get me wrong, the opportunities have got to come, we’ve just got to make sure we put them away…and hopefully on Friday night they’ll be in the back of the net.”