Perth Glory star Daniel Sturridge to make long-awaited second appearance
Star signing Daniel Sturridge will make his second appearance in Perth Glory’s long-awaited A-League season kick-start against Brisbane Roar - but he will be coming off the bench.
The former England and Liverpool striker made just a nine-minute cameo in Glory’s opening game against Adelaide and missed the next three games.
But coach Richard Garcia has revealed Sturridge will be getting game time in Wednesday’s game at Moreton Daily Stadium.
“Daniel is travelling really well. He will definitely play some part in the game,” Garcia said.
“He’s built really nicely over the last few weeks.
“The plan was always to build him up in big chunks of the game.
“He still needs to get minutes off the bench and bigger minutes as games go by.
“We feel, and he feels, that he’s in a better place to be able to do that for bigger periods of the game.”
Sturridge, with other players including Pacifique Niyongabire and Antonee Burke-Gilroy, has been training in Sydney since the start of January when the side was released from COVID quarantine.
“The training they have had has been excellent. They have really pushed themselves,” Garcia said.
“For Daniel it’s probably the work he needed to do, probably not prepare for games, prepare for himself.”
Glory have had just four games, a win, a draw and two losses and have not played for 43 days.
Garcia will have almost his full squad available for the road trip - that could see them playing six games in short time - with Sydney FC next up on Saturday at Nestrata Stadium
Only goalkeeper Brad Jones and defender Luke Bodnar are on the injured list.
“It’s a trip where games are going to get thrown in, they are going to get changed,” Garcia said. “It’s difficult when you’re told you are playing one team and then all of a sudden the fixture changes.
“We are going to have situations where we are going to be backing up games in a short turnaround.
“That hampers preparation as far as how you set up against the opposition. It’s more about how you work on the attributes you have.
“You’ve got to roll with the punches and overcome the hurdles that come your way.”
Garcia said it would take time to get back to match fitness after the long break..
“They’ve trained really well but a game is always different,” he said. “It’s still going to take time to get back to match fitness but they are going well.
“Once they are out there and playing they will find what they need to get the job done.
“Enthusiasm and adrenaline will be pumping but it’s about what happens when the adrenaline fades after the first 20 minutes.
“I’ve got full confidence they will be ready. I can’t wait. It’s been a long time coming.”
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