Socceroo back as Glory face Jets in A-L

·2-min read

After more than a year on the sidelines, Socceroos winger Chris Ikonomidis is poised to make his A-League return for Perth Glory on Tuesday against Newcastle Jets.

The 25-year-old has been out since rupturing an ACL against Melbourne Victory in February last year but will travel to Coffs Harbour in Glory's squad to face the Jets.

Glory coach Richard Garcia has welcomed Ikonomidis's return but says he won't be asking too much, too early from the ex-Lazio player.

"We're going to have to try and find his fitness within games because there's no real possibility to find it in training," Garcia said.

"With the games coming thick and fast we'll just have to try and work him in there slowly."

Attacker Joel Chianese could also make his return after signing with Glory for the rest of the season.

Chianese, who left Glory last year to join Indian Super League side Hyderabad FC, has been added to the extended squad for the game against Newcastle.

Garcia has questioned why his team were chosen as the opposition to travel to Coffs International Stadium, given it will mean making an additional flight to the northern NSW city following their long flight east.

The Glory are feeling the pinch of a travel-heavy schedule ahead of what will be their third straight match in NSW after games against Macarthur and Sydney FC already this month.

German defender Sebastian Langkamp limped off in last Wednesday's loss to the Sky Blues with a groin strain and joins an injury list that includes Diego Castro (knee), Nick D'Agostino (hamstring) and Daniel Stynes (groin).

"We've been thrown a load of challenges this season and that's another one," Garcia said of the Coffs Harbour journey.

"I'm sure there would've been other teams that could've played against Newcastle in Coffs but, look, we'll have to deal with it.

"The schedule and the toll it's having on the players' bodies is quite noticeable, with all the travel as well, it becomes an issue but the boys have dealt with it excellently."

The Jets slipped to a seventh-straight defeat with a 2-1 loss to bottom-placed Melbourne Victory last Saturday and are still without influential players Nigel Boogaard (leg) and Johnny Koutroumbis (calf).

KEY MATCH STATS

* Newcastle's seven-game losing run is a club record. The New Zealand Knights hold the all-time A-League record losing streak of 11 defeats during the 2005-06 season.

* This will be Perth's first match at Coffs Harbourn International Stadium, but the Glory have won 12 of their past 23 away matches against Newcastle.

* Glory striker Bruno Fornaroli has scored 11 goals in 12 matches against the Jets in his A-League career, his highest tally against any single club.