Glory won't risk Taggart yet in A-League

Dec 15, 2017 - 4:31 AM Perth coach Kenny Lowe says it's too early to risk Adam Taggart this weekend despite the A-League club's long injury list.

Taggart has been sidelined for the past five games after tearing his hamstring on November 9.

The 24-year-old is back training with the squad, but Lowe says it is too early for Taggart to return in Saturday night's clash with Wellington at nib Stadium.

Instead, Taggart is set to return next Thursday against Brisbane.

"Players always feel as though they're ready to go. If he had a broken leg, he'd feel as though he's ready to go," Lowe said of Taggart.

"But he's not ready to go yet. He's close. He's got a few little boxes to tick.

"You can always tell whether Taggs is alright, because there's no black cloud above him with rain coming down. So he had half a smile there."

Glory striker Andy Keogh will miss another week with a groin complaint, while defender Alex Grant (hamstring) and Xavi Torres (groin) are the latest players to join the club's extensive injury list.

But Diego Castro is set for a starting role after making a cameo off the bench in last week's 2-1 loss to Newcastle, while Andreu (calf) and Scott Neville (toe) are chances to return this week.

Jacob Poscoliero is likely to replace Alex Grant in defence.

The last-placed Phoenix will still be without key trio Andrew Durante (calf), striker Roy Krishna (knee) and midfielder Michael McGlinchey (groin).

The Glory have dropped to eighth spot after back-to-back losses.

And they will be gunning for revenge against Phoenix after copping a 5-2 hiding in round six in Wellington.

Lowe said the club's injury woes had opened up opportunities for the club's emerging stars.

The brightest of those has been 16-year-old Jacob Italiano, who has performed strongly in his four consecutive starts.

"Looking at his numbers, he's setting the standards for everyone in the club," Lowe said.

"He's a quiet, unassuming kid. But physically, he's probably up there or close to the best in the club."


* Perth have lost their past two games at nib Stadium. The last time they lost more there was a three-game drought to end season 2010/11

* Wellington have failed to score in three away games, their worst run since a four-game streak in 2008

* Perth have conceded only 126 fouls this campaign, the joint fewest of any team alongside Sydney FC

Source: AAP

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