Glory's D'Agostino given whack from coach

Nicholas D'Agostino (pic) has been criticised by Glory coach Tony Popovic for his fitness levels.
Nicholas D'Agostino (pic) has been criticised by Glory coach Tony Popovic for his fitness levels.

Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic has delivered Nicholas D'Agostino a public roasting, saying the rising star will struggle to get a game in the near future after failing to take care of himself during the A-League shutdown.

Popovic was left disappointed after several of the club's younger players let their standards slip during the COVID-19 break.

D'Agostino was the only player Popovic named, and it appears the star Olyroo has some work to do to win back his coach's trust.

"I think it's been a good lesson for some of our younger players," Popovic said.

"A few of the young ones that have got talent need to learn how to be better professionals.

"We talk a lot about Nick D'Agostino. But he needs to know if he wants to be the best, he needs to present as the best, and he hasn't done it so far.

"So that's a player who's going to find it difficult to play.

"I don't care what code it is. You can't perform at your best unless you present in the right way. Talent alone is not enough, and a few of these boys have had a harsh lesson."

D'Agostino was enjoying a breakout season before the league was shutdown, scoring three goals in seven appearances.

His lack of discipline during the break comes at a bad time for Glory, who will also be without skipper Diego Castro, Gregory Wuthrich (returned home), and Chris Ikonomidis (knee) for the rest of the season.

Castro's decision not to join his teammates in their NSW hub due to coronavirus fears has left Glory without their most talented and creative player.

The 38-year-old Spaniard is contracted for next season, but Popovic wasn't in a position to guarantee that deal would be fulfilled by both parties.

Popovic is confident his team can overcome the loss of Castro to push for title success this season.

"We have some young players that will get an opportunity," Popovic said ahead of Saturday's clash with Central Coast.

"They don't have the experience that Diego has, but they have the energy and excitement.

"We're not thinking about how do we find a player amongst our squad to do what Diego does.

"We want to bring out the strengths of all the players, and our game style will suit the players that we have and I'm sure they'll still be exciting to watch."

Australian Associated Press