Ernie Merrick cut a frustrated figure in the wake of last night’s 1-0 defeat in the FFA Cup Quarter Final against Adelaide United.
The coach was speaking at the post-match press conference at Coopers Stadium following full-time, and had this to say…
On… the red card
“I thought the send-off, first of all, the player (Mileusnic) was going wide,” Merrick said.
“There were two players inside Lewis, when he made the tackle, so I thought the send-off ruined the game really. We just had to battle, the send-off was after 12 minutes and we battled.
“I thought Adelaide played some good football but they struggled for the final strike. The goal they did score was one of the more simple saves that Glen had to make, but I thought he was outstanding.”
On… a handball and an injury
“The better team won on the day, but the decisions could have gone the other way,” Merrick said.
“It was a blatant handball by [Michael] Jakobsen, his hand is out at the side… and it looks like one of our key players [Wes Hoolahan] will be out for a while now.
“He was kicked from behind and twisted his ankle forward, and then got a free-kick against him.
“[It looks like] syndesmosis. He was really kicked hard, his foot got lodged… we haven’t scanned and confirmed the extent of the injury, but the two previous and similar injuries I’ve seen have been a minimum 12-14 weeks.”
Hoolahan is set to undergo scans on Thursday morning to fully assess the seriousness of his injury.
On… the performance
“The boys fought right until the end. We had a couple of chances at the end, we defended really well, but didn’t really attack as well as we should’ve,” Merrick said.
“We didn’t keep possession under pressure as well as we should’ve, so it’s a credit to [Adelaide boss] Gertjan Verbeek, who had a good win and goes through to the Semi Finals.
“Our defence was rock solid and I’m very proud by the way they fought right until the end, if we’d got a goal and drawn then it would’ve been interested going into extra-time, but we were very tired by that stage.
“I’m not so much disappointed by the loss as I am by the injury to Wes Hoolahan. It’s very disappointing.”