Newcastle Jets head coach Phil Stubbins has opted to rest Marcos Flores and Scott Neville for Saturday's clash with Perth Glory at nib Stadium.
Flores and Neville have only recently returned to competitive action after recovering from serious knee injuries sustained last season.
Stubbins has opted to rest the pair given the Jets’ tough schedule to start the season, which sees the side play four matches on the road including back-to-back long-haul trips to Wellington and Perth
“We’ve just returned from Wellington and now we’re off to Perth, which obviously presents its challenges,” Stubbins said.
“Fatigue is a factor and we need to monitor that. The team has changed this morning based on the fatigue of a couple of players.
“Marcos Flores is a player that won’t travel, he needs to rest himself up.
“Scott Neville is another guy that falls into that bracket, because like Marcos, he’s coming back from a knee reconstruction.
“Both players are playing their first games and trying to back-up each week after nine months on the sidelines and it is a very difficult situation physically.
“We’re safeguarding what we’ve got our eye on down the track, but we’re certainly focused on this week and we’ll be taking the healthiest group of players that we can over to Perth.”
Stubbins said the time spent on the road during the opening month of the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League season has given his side a chance to show their character.
“It’s been a bit of a groundhog day for us in terms of away games, but it’s a situation where we have the opportunity to really challenge the group in terms of culture and resolve,” Stubbins said.
“I think the first two games were quite positive in that sense, but we obviously had a setback against Wellington, which we’re hoping to rectify in Perth this weekend.”
Stubbins said spirits within the Jets camp remained high, despite their winless start to the season.
“Morale is good within the group,” Stubbins said.
“Both the coaching staff and playing group remain in a good headspace and the energy in training has been first rate and I can’t really pick a fault with that, so in terms of the group and the harmony and everything else surrounding the environment, it’s very good.”