City focused on Glory, not distractions

A-League leaders Melbourne City face a difficult trip to play Perth Glory behind closed doors without injured coach Patrick Kisnorbo.

Melbourne City coach, PATRICK KISNORBO.
Melbourne City coach, PATRICK KISNORBO. Picture: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Melbourne City assistant coach Des Buckingham says the A-League leaders must focus on beating Perth rather than any off-field difficulties.

City will play the Glory behind closed doors at HBF Park on Wednesday amid Perth's coronavirus restrictions before returning to Melbourne for a quick turn-around to Sunday's game against Brisbane Roar.

They will also be without coach Patrick Kisnorbo for two games, after he tore his achilles in a charity match on Saturday and had surgery.

"We're expecting (Sunday's game against Brisbane) to still go ahead - and hopefully still with crowds," Buckingham told reporters on Tuesday.

"We've had to apply for border permits ... we've got a job to do.

"We've got permission to go (to Perth) and we've got permission to come back now so we just hope that nothing blows up while we're there that could impact anything.

"... we're fortunate we've got a very, very good and mature group of players and what's got us to where we are at the moment, has been the way we've gone about what we've done - both on and off the field."

Buckingham will take the reins against Perth and Brisbane, having previously filled in against Western Sydney in March when Kisnorbo had suspected food poisoning.

"Not in my 19 years' coaching career (have I seen a coach out with an achilles tear) - it's that type of season I think for everybody," Buckingham said.

"The good thing about the way we work ... is if there is a change, whether it's head coach or a physio or another member of staff, it's very consistent.

"So hopefully there's not too much disruption for the playing group."

Perth are winless in five but beat City 3-1 in Melbourne in January, with Buckingham wary of the Glory's dangerous attack.

"It's a real tough one in itself and it'll be even tougher if we don't approach it in the right manner," Buckingham said.

STATS

* Perth have lost just one of their past eight games against City

* Jamie Maclaren will land his 100th A-League goal if he scores against former club Glory

* Perth haven't scored in the first half of their past five games and have been winless in that time