Thwaite hits out at Perth Glory
Perth Glory's Michael Thwaite has questioned the club's direction after the departures of three players during the January transfer window.
Bas van den Brink, Billy Mehmet and Jesse Makarounas were all allowed to leave nib Stadium last month, decisions which Thwaite felt were damaging to the club's on-field prospects and called into question its long-term strategy.
"I was very disappointed to see Bas go....and I would have kept all three of the players that have left," Thwaite said.
"Obviously they want to get a lot of game-time and I've been in similar positions over in Europe and I did the same, I left clubs as well.
"Bas has been a good mate of mine for the past four years and I think we could use him.
"They (the departures) give opportunities to the young players and I think they've come in and done very well and in terms of the squad, I think it's good.
"But in terms of our best 11, I think we could have used those players.
"I'm happy at the club, but I'm not happy with where we are. I'd like to see a little bit more direction.
"Obviously, with all these rumours about the coach and the players leaving, I'd like to see a long-term passage for Perth Glory because they've been so successful in the past."
In terms of exactly whom he feels should be providing that direction however the 29-year-old was less forthcoming.
"I wouldn't have a clue where that direction needs to come from. I don't get involved in that," he said.
"I was involved in way too much politics in my time at Gold Coast, so I'm just focusing on training and playing, but again, I'm sure they'll sort it out because I think everyone needs direction."
Thwaite went on to question Glory's preference for negotiating new contracts at the end of the season, despite the practice being widely employed throughout the rest of the A-League.
"I disagree with that. I think it should have been done earlier," he said.
"It makes the players more relaxed.
"You don't need to sign them on long-term deals like other clubs have done, but just give them some security and I think performance comes with that.
"But I think there's another aspect to that psychology.
"Obviously you want to be performing so that you get a new contract and maybe that's what they (the club) are waiting for."
In terms of Glory's on-field fortunes, meanwhile, Thwaite feels that he and his fellow-defenders need to shoulder their share of the responsibility for the club's seven-game winless streak which has included four 1-0 defeats.
"Obviously results aren't going our way, but it's not necessarily just our attack that's the problem.
"We're still leaking that one goal a game and to be honest, we'd probably rather lose one game 10-0 than ten games 1-0.
"But that's where the A-League is at the moment.
"You make one mistake and you get punished, whereas a few years back you could get away with it.
"That's how far the A-League has come."
Marquee striker Shane Smeltz is expected to return for Saturday's away clash with Melbourne Heart having recovered from his groin injury, but Jacob Burns' back problem looks set to rule him our for a third successive game.