O'Donovan, Brown in mix for Perth return

Dec 6, 2017 - 3:09 AM Newcastle are hopeful of regaining key imports Roy O'Donovan and Wayne Brown for this weekend's trip to Perth as they look to consolidate their enviable A-League position.

Irish striker O'Donovan is the league's equal highest scorer with seven despite having been sidelined the last three games with a groin problem.

English midfielder Brown also sat out the last three matches with a calf issue, their absences coinciding with the Jets' first two losses of the campaign.

After last week's late 2-1 loss to Melbourne City, the largely dominant Jets could have done with O'Donovan's expert finishing.

Coach Ernie Merrick's primary concern is that the pair do not inflame their injuries through a long flight west and a premature return in Saturday's clash with the Glory.

Defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley was cautiously optimistic.

"They went through a training session today," Topor-Stanley said.

"Fingers crossed they're back in the team sooner rather than later. They bring depth to the squad. You need your best players playing.

"Roy is always a danger, he's always on the end of things and makes intelligent runs.

"Wayne is a seasoned campaigner. He's reliable, a good solid midfielder we need back in our squad."

Seventh-placed Perth are coming off Sunday's 1-0 loss to Central Coast without star attacking trio Diego Castro, Andy Keogh and Adam Taggart.

Should any rematerialise, the second-placed Jets will need to be switched on early to turn around their tepid record at nib Stadium and ensure they don't slip down the table over a busy summer.

"Around this time, injuries take their toll on all the squads and you start to see people fall away or really cement their position," Topor-Stanley said.

"We've got players coming back hopefully, and hopefully we can go into the new year and build on the momentum we've built this season."

Source: AAP

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