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Ferguson backs Pantelidis to fill in

27 December 2012 16:44

Perth Glory manager Ian Ferguson has backed Steve Pantelidis to cover for Michael Thwaite, who is set to be sidelined by a calf injury.

Thwaite clutched his calf and hobbled from the ground after 77 minutes of Perth's match at home to Western Sydney Wanderers on Thursday.

Ironically, it was his replacement Nick Ward who came on and scored the equaliser for Perth in the 86th minute as the hosts salvaged a point in the A-League clash.

Ferguson said Perth would have to wait 24 hours for an official diagnosis of Thwaite's injury, but the early signs were that it was quite series.

"He felt a pop, so it doesn't look good at this point in time … normally when a player feels a pop it's not such good news," he said.

"Pantelidis is ready to go. Pantelidis played last week in Brisbane for the youth team, so he's had some game time and he's done some work tonight off the field.

"(Thwaite has) been a rock for us at the back, him and Bas (van den Brink) have been great all season and obviously missing his experience is going to be a blow, but Pantelidis is a big time player."

Perth dominated the early running in Thursday night's match against Western Sydney before Labinot Haliti scored a goal against the run of play after 36 minutes.

Nick Ward earned Perth a point with four minutes left in regular time when he volleyed home a Ryo Nagai cross from a tight angle.

Ferguson said his team was not tight enough defensively to earn the three points.

"For the first 20 minutes I thought we played reasonably well," he said.

"I thought we used Ryo (Nagai) very well leaving him isolated with the one on ones.

"Then after that the boy (Tarek) Elrich gets booked and we stop doing it for some reason and then I felt we were too far off them and were giving them too much room and they had the better of the play.

"The goal in itself, the goal's very disappointing. I keep telling players to show players the line, but for some reason Haliti's allowed to come inside and put it in the corner."

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A-League table

# Team MP D P
1 0 +0 0
2 0 +0 0
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4 0 +0 0
5 0 +0 0
6 0 +0 0
7 0 +0 0
8 0 +0 0
9 0 +0 0
10 0 +0 0

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