Sebastian Langkamp is still a “while off” from making his A-League debut, with Perth Glory coach Richard Garcia to take a cautious approach with the former Bundesliga defender .
Langkamp completed his two-week quarantine period last month, but any hopes of a swift Glory call-up have been quashed by a recent wrist injury at training.
Garcia says he will play it safe with the 33-year-old ex-Germany under-21 star, with the club yet to put an exact timeline on his return.
“He’s still a while off,” Garcia said.
“It’s a hard one, because we’re eager to put him back in (for team training), but how early do we put him back in without risking him getting injured?
“The guy’s been in Europe, where he hadn’t played a lot of football after Christmas.
“So he hasn’t done a lot of football stuff for three or four months.
“We’ve got to be wary of that. We could risk him and have him for one game and then he breaks down, or we could do the right thing and wait until he’s ready and have him for the remainder of the season.”
Glory will be aiming to end a two-match losing run when they take on the ladder-leading Mariners at Central Coast Stadium on Sunday.
Perth dominated possession in losses to Central Coast (2-1) and Wellington (3-0), but they were caught napping on the counter attack and at set-pieces.
Garcia is urging his team to stay switched on.
“It’s been simple errors from defending when we’ve dominated the game,” Garcia said.
“Teams are really backing off, getting people behind the ball and sitting off. That’s something we have to deal with and try and break down.
“But we also have to be fully focused on the counter-attack, and when we are going forward, that our defensive mindset is just as important.
“We had such a good start with so many goals that people are going to be wary of what we’re capable of, set up shop and try and catch us on the counter.”
The Mariners entered the round with a whopping seven-point lead at the top of the ladder, with their most recent result a 2-0 victory over Macarthur on Monday.
STATS THAT MATTER
* Glory defender Darryl Lachman has a passing accuracy of 97 per cent from his 213 passes in the centre third of the pitch this season. It is the highest of any player who has made at least 100 passes.
* Central Coast have scored the opening goal of the game on seven occasions this season, the most of any team. They have gone on to win six of those matches.
* The Mariners have won their past three home games. The last time they won more in succession was a five-game stretch from March to October 2014.