Harnwell blow for Glory

Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell says defender Andy Todd is not quite ready to fill in for the injured Jamie Harnwell in Sunday’s clash with Melbourne Heart.

The club’s Most Glorious Player last season, Todd has been sidelined with a knee injury for the first three games of this campaign and is currently working his way back to fitness after a bout of illness put his recovery further behind last week.

With Todd’s regular companion last season, Chris Coyne, on loan in China, the Glory have been forced to play veterans Harnwell and Jamie Coyne in the central defensive roles.

The pair have excelled in the last two weeks, however, as the league leading Glory kept two clean sheets on their way to wins over Melbourne Victory and Newcastle.

However, Harnwell limped off late in the clash with the Jets with a calf problem and Mitchell doesn’t believe the 32-year-old will be available in time.

“Jamie’s responding well (to treatment),” said Mitchell after training on Tuesday.

“But he’s probably going to be a bit short for this weekend. So he’ll miss at least one week for sure.”

The coach said with former Blackburn skipper Todd unlikely to play, he would look to using new recruit Josh Mitchell alongside Jamie Coyne, after defender Mitchell received a provisional clearance to play from FIFA last week, following a stand-off with his former club, Romania’s Universtatea Craiova.

“Andy (Todd) can play but he’s probably not quite ready yet,” Dave Mitchell said.

“It’s one of them, that probably needs another week’s training under his belt. We’ll see how the week goes, how it pans out.”

“(But) we’ll have a look at Mitch (Josh Mitchell) in there and Coyne.”

“I think Jamie Harnwell’s been fantastic in the centre of defence as has Jamie (Coyne),” Mitchell added.

“The thing with Jamie Harnwell is his experience and he talks well, he’s an organiser … so you lose a little bit of experience.”

“(But) Josh I’m sure, if he comes in will do a good job as well.”

The unbeaten Glory may be coming up against the struggling Heart this weekend, but the coach said his players wouldn’t be taking the encounter at AAMI Park lightly.

“It’s early days,” said Mitchell.

“We’re not getting carried away yet, we’ve still got to work hard and there’s not much between the teams you know.”

“I think on any day, anyone can beat anyone.”

“(They have) a lot of good players, a lot of talented players (but) it’s not easy, the A-League’s not easy, so to come in and gel it’s difficult.”

“(So) they play good football, they try to play the right way. Their time will come.”