Monday, 6 January 2003 12:00 AM
Twenty-Four year old defender Robert Liparoti, injured his knee in South Melbourne’s 1 – 0 win against Sydney United last night. It was the Blue and Whites first away win of the season and with Newcastle dropping valuable points the Club sits in outright third position.
The towering defender injured his left knee, the opposite knee that sidelined him in season 2000/2001. An initial diagnosis has identified cruciate ligament damage, which will be confirmed as early as this evening.
“Liparoti prompted on his right foot and pivoted to the right when at the same time he had a mild collision with the opposing player. He was in a fair bit of pain”.
“He is having his MRI scan today and we will know the result of his injury later today”, says South Melbourne physiotherapist Mary Toomey.
Despite Liparoti’s injury, South Melbourne showed some of its best form of the season and displayed some tremendous character. Wright was very satisfied with his players performance as throughout the week he empahised the importance of teamwork and players taking responsibility.
“The difference between the two teams last night was that we showed the ability to dig deep and show great team spirit. Earlier in the week we worked on leadership groups in various areas of the squad.”
“It was very satisfying seeing the way the players went about their business grinding out the result. They took on more responsibility and I was very proud of that”
“Sydney United gave us nothing. It was up to the boys to get the result and it was evident after the match as the boys were pumped as they had got the monkey off their backs”, says Wright.
With Susa returning from suspension, it was the first time this season that Danny Wright had all his midfielders available and started with Panopoulos, Damianos and Susa in the centre of the park.
“We had a very attacking formation as the Damianos and Susa are not natural defensive midfielders. I was concerned with that but in the second half they did pretty good”, says Wright.
Another positive sign came from Steve Iosifidis who replaced the injured Liparoti in the 25th minute. The out of favour Iosifidis was impressive and showed exactly what he is capable of, quite easily slipping into defence.
“Iosifidis was able to come on under pressure and pretty much slip into defence displaying his best form all season. It was satisfying and I have always said for players to prove me wrong and show me what they are capable of”, says the South coach.
South Melbourne will now take on Northern Spirit this Sunday and look to avenge their loss to the Sydney Club in Round 4 earlier this season. Last time the sides met, South’s two-goal comeback was diminished after Jonathan Ritcher scored a last minute winner for Spirit.
The match kicks off at 7.00 PM this Sunday at Bob Jane Stadium!