PIVOTAL: Cassidy Davis will return to midfield against Adelaide on Thursday night after the loss Arin Gilliland to injury again. Picture: Getty Images
Newcastle will turn to home-grown talent Cassidy Davis to fill the void in midfield left by the loss of tenacious American Arin Gilliland when they face Adelaide away on Thursday night.
Gilliland missed the round-eight 2-1 defeat to Western Sydney Wanderers on Monday at McDonald Jones Stadium and did not make the trip to Adelaide on Wednesday after scans on her corked quadriceps.
The Chicago Red Star was injured late in the 1-1 draw with Melbourne Victory in round seven and was rested for the Wanderers game given the Jets’schedule of three games in seven days. After the Adelaide match, Newcastle travel to Perth to prepare for Monday night againstwith Glory.
However, Jets coach Craig Deans said Gilliland may also miss the Perth game.
“She had scans which showed a little bit of bleeding up higher on her quad and there’s a risk of causing further damage if we push it too early, so it’s just better to give her a rest and see how she is in a few days’ time,” Deans said on Wednesday.
He said Davis, who switched from midfield to centre-back for Liz O’Reilly following the 5-2 loss to Canberra in round four, would be pushed forward against Adelaide and Brooke Miller would partner Megan Oyster at the back.
“We’ll make a couple of changes to the starting team, just to try to get the balance a little bit better,” Deans said. “I think we had a few people we tried to play slightly out of position that probably didn’t work [against Wanderers].
“So we’ll bring in Brooke Miller at centre back and put Cass back into the midfield. That might give us a bit of solidity in the midfield.
“She’s done well at centre back, but it’s just about getting midfield tighter. She can organise midfield a bit better than what we had on the weekend.Brooke’s a centre-back by trade, so she should be able to come in and do a job.”
The loss to Wanderers stretched the Jets’ winless run to four games and left them seventh, five points outside the top four with five games left.Asked if the match against Adelaide, who are last on two points, was a must-win in the hunt for the finals, Deans said: “They pretty much all are now until the end of the season.
“I think it’s just getting a bit frustrating because I think we’ve been playing OK. We just haven’t had a bit of luck go our way. Maybe we’ll get a turn of luck at some point, but our work ethic and desire to be successful needto improve.”
Newcastle play Adelaide atElite Systems Football Centre from 7.30pm (AEDT).
Striker Jen Hoy missed a penalty for Newcastle on Monday in game where Deans was happy with the performance but disappointed with the work ethic and desire to win.
“There’s still 15 points to get and I don’t think we’ve been outplayed, other than the Canberra game,this year,” he said after the Wanderers match.
“Against Sydney at home we were very unlucky, and I think today we obviously missed a penalty and their second goal, I’m not sure about the offside, it looked prettyclose, and again the set piece let us down.
OUT: Chicago Red Stars midfielder Arin Gilliland missed the 2-1 loss to Western Sydney Wanderers on Monday with a corked quadriceps. Picture: Getty Images
“So they are all things that are easily fixed, but it’s about your work ethic and how hard you’re prepared to work, and we need to figure that out pretty quickly.”
Ashlee Brodigan, who started in place of Gilliland on Monday, lasted only 37 minutes because of illness but was making the trip to Adelaide.