RULED OUT: Nikolai Topor-Stanley at Ray Watt Oval yesterday. – Picture by Darren PatemanINJURED Jets defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley hopes his hamstring tendonitis keeps him out of only one A-League game.
Taylor Regan, who will replace the towering former Socceroo against Sydney FC at Ausgrid Stadium on Saturday, hopes to play so well against the Sky Blues that coach Gary van Egmond will have to shift someone else when Topor-Stanley returns.
Topor-Stanley has succumbed to the tendon strain he first felt in Newcastle’s 3-1 triumph over Melbourne Victory two weeks ago then aggravated in their 2-0 loss to Central Coast last Saturday.
‘‘I first noticed it against Melbourne Victory, and I kind of managed it through the week during training prior to the Central Coast game,’’ Topor-Stanley said.
‘‘At half-time I was in a bit of trouble and I don’t know how I really lasted, because I was out on my feet and it was no good.
‘‘It’s a slight strain on the tendon where my hammy inserts in the bone, so it’s a pretty minor thing but it can hang around for a bit and be kind of painful, so I’ve had a blood injection to settle it down. The plan is to rest this week and start training next week.’’
Topor-Stanley hopes to recover in time to make the trip across the Tasman to take on Wellington Phoenix tomorrow week.
Regan has not played since starting in Newcastle’s 3-0 away loss to Melbourne Heart on November 12 but van Egmond has been impressed with his form in Youth League.
‘‘It’s been a few weeks now since I’ve played with the first team,’’ Regan said.
‘‘I’ve played the last few games with the youth team and we’ve won our last three.
‘‘It’s always in the back of your mind that you want to get a chance, so hopefully this weekend I can prove that I can do a job.
‘‘Sydney tend to play with two strikers, so myself and Tiago will have a man each.
‘‘Obviously first and foremost, if we don’t concede goals we can’t lose games, so I think our home form has been good and if we win our individual battles, we’ll go a long way to winning the game.’’
The 23-year-old Dudley-Redhead junior, who played 10 games in his rookie season last summer and has made five appearances this season, accepts that he must bide his time behind experienced campaigners such as Topor-Stanley and Tiago.
But he wants to convince the coach that he can hold down a regular starting berth.
‘‘It’s hard to continue to play week in, week out when you’ve got experienced players like Nikolai and Tiago there when they’re fit,’’ Regan said.
‘‘But I want to prove that I can be a week-to-week proposition, and as long as I put my hand up and do my job every week that I’m called upon, maybe I will get my chance to be a regular starter.
‘‘But that comes down to Gary and his decision. I’ve got to do everything I can.’’
Van Egmond said Topor-Stanley had been ‘‘the backbone’’ of the team, but he was confident in Regan stepping up to the mark.
‘‘It’s a direct swap, so the rest of the disruption of the team will be lessened, so Taylor will come back into that spot and he obviously offers a lot,’’ the coach said.
‘‘He’s very comfortable on the ball, so there’s no problems whatsoever.’’
Apart from promoting Regan, van Egmond indicated former England striker Francis Jeffers would replace Labinot Haliti up front.
‘‘I thought when Francis came on against Central Coast he made some good runs, and being at home, I feel that Francis will probably give us that again this week,’’ he said.