Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe has blasted A-League officials for scheduling Sunday’s match against Melbourne Heart in the heat of the day, saying the extreme temperatures may force him to change his line-up.
A forecast temperature of 41C is set to greet Glory and Heart in their fixture at Lavington Sports Ground in Albury, country NSW.
Heart’s home games are usually played at AAMI Park in Melbourne, which is expected to reach a top of 38C on Sunday.
The A-League is likely to implement its heat policy for the game, which allows for drinks breaks in the middle of each half.
Lowe was furious at the scheduling, and wants the 3pm kick-off time to be moved back.
“I don’t know who organises stuff like that – middle of the country in February,” Lowe said on Wednesday.
“You can predict things like this.
“You’ve got some historical weather data. Maybe have a little look at that and see how it is in February at three o’clock.
“I remember a few months ago Alistair (Edwards) raised some concerns when it was 31. Now we’re up to 40 I believe.
“So we’ll play a game of head tennis in an air-con room to see who gets the three points.”
Striker Darvydas Sernas was in freezing Lithuania only two weeks ago, while Serbian Nebojsa Marinkovic is another new Glory recruit still trying to adapt to Australia’s hot summer.
“Really, from a duty of care and a moral obligation, you have to look after those two guys,” Lowe said.
“If we aren’t going to change (the kick-off time), if it is going to be that temperature, do you actually look at maybe not playing those lads for their sake?
“You see it today – it’s 27 degrees and they’re struggling with the heat, the poor guys.
“I said we’ll just shove them in the cooker for 30 minutes to try to get them acclimatised a bit more.”
Lowe said the hot conditions would also affect the quality of the game.
“What happens when you’re fatigued is your technique goes, your decision-making goes, so I’m sure it will be great (quality) for the first 10 (minutes),” Lowe said.
International marquee William Gallas is a chance to play despite injuring his calf in last week’s 1-1 draw with Melbourne Victory.
Former Mariners midfielder Rostyn Griffiths is set to make his Glory debut, but is only likely to play around 45 minutes in his first match since returning from a stint in China.
Seventh-placed Glory are in desperate need of a win in order to boost their finals hopes, while last-placed Heart will be aiming to continue their resurgence after snaring two victories and a draw from their past three games.