Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou has shrugged off speculation he will rest rising star Andrew Nabbout against Western Sydney.
The 19-year-old has been a revelation in recent matches, bursting onto the scene with two late goals in Victory’s 3-2 win over Sydney FC a fortnight ago and netting again in their 2-2 draw with Central Coast last weekend.
And Postecoglou said he has seen nothing at training to suggest Nabbout is not coping with the workload demanded of a professional footballer.
“Young Andrew’s well in the mix and he’ll probably start to be honest,” Postecoglou said before training at Gosch’s Paddock on Friday.
“He’s going all right.
“He’s a great kid, he’s level-headed, he knows where he’s at – he understands he’s still got a lot of work to do.
“I’m ignoring his age and his inexperience and looking at the fact he’s playing some good football and scoring goals.
“He’s training well – it’s only been his first full week of being in with us. I haven’t seen any signs that it’s getting to him at any stage.”
Victory, who take on the Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday, have been forced into a reshuffle after Marcos Flores’ red card against Central Coast last weekend.
Brazilian midfielder Gui Finkler looks set to resume after missing the Central Coast clash with a recurrence of a groin problem, while Archie Thompson (illness) will return.
“Archie Thompson is obviously available, so he’ll be right,” Postecoglou said.
“Gui Finkler trained yesterday and will train this morning and all reports are he’ll be ok as well. They’ll both come in.”
Postecoglou said he had been annoyed by Flores’ sending off, especially as he had issued a warning to the Argentine only moments before his rash challenge on Trent Sainsbury.
“I shouted out from the bench five minutes before for him not to tackle and not to get involved in anything silly, because I could see he was getting frustrated,” he said.
“He denies us the opportunity of winning that game, and also he’s missing this week, so again it’s not ideal. But I’m sure he understands that.”