Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson insists former skipper Jamie Coyne’s axing from the side is solely related to form rather than an awkward clause in his A-League contract.
And Ferguson revealed the club wouldn’t be interested in re-signing Andy Todd for next season even if the veteran defender wanted to return to the club.
Coyne hasn’t played since featuring in Perth’s away draw to Gold Coast on January 3.
Should Coyne play just one more game this season, it will trigger a clause in his contract guaranteeing him another year in the club.
The Australian Professional Footballer Association has leapt to the defence of the 30-year-old, believing he has been unfairly overlooked for selection for almost a month due to no fault of his own.
But Ferguson said the only issue was Coyne’s form, despite the defender playing 23 of 24 games before his omission.
“It was nothing to do with anything that Jamie’s suggesting, it’s just basically down to form and as I said, I’m taking a different direction and want to just try somebody else in those positions,” Ferguson said on Thursday.
“Jamie, I sort of left out because I felt like I wanted to go a different direction.
“If you look at Jamie the last four or five games…certain goals have came in and certain things have happened from his side, that was the reason he’s been left out.
“So I’m definitely going to go for looking at younger players at this moment.”
Todd returned to England earlier this week and although the Glory initially said the 35-year-old would be more than welcome to return next season, Ferguson has now ruled out that option.
“Look, Andy’s moved on now, we’ve moved on and as I said to Andy, I was going in a different direction,” Ferguson said.
“I wanted to try and get younger players in there, probably a little bit more energy than Andy.
“Andy’s done a fantastic job over the last year or so and before I came…he got player of the year.
“This year he’s been hampered with a few injuries and at 35, I just felt that it might be better if we moved on and try and get somebody else in and that’s what we’re doing.”
Ferguson was tight-lipped when asked about the club’s ongoing attempt to lure Gold Coast striker Shane Smeltz and Adelaide captain Travis Dodd for next season.
But the Glory are increasingly confident of retaining marquee striker Robbie Fowler for another year on a reduced payload.
Perth sit second-last on the table and take on fellow strugglers Sydney FC at nib Stadium on Saturday night.
Buford Balony says: Both the Coyne’s are overrated especially Chris. He was never good enough to make the World Cup squad so I don’t know why he went to China, seriously why?