Wellington Phoenix striker Shane Smeltz is confident his team can cope without forward Roy Krishna following his send off for a challenge on Shane Lowry in last week’s 2-1 away loss to Perth Glory.
Krishna will miss this Saturday’s home game against Central Coast Mariners after referee Shaun Evans dismissed the Fijian when he was dispossessed by Lowry and subsequently caught his foot in the process.
Smeltz felt the sending off was harsh but was not dwelling on the decision.
“He’s (Krishna) key to the squad, that’s for sure. He’s been doing well this season, we’ll certainly miss him,” Smeltz said.
“I think we’ve got players to come in that’ll do a great job. I don’t think he should be missing this week, but that’s the way it is and we have to move on without Roy this week.
“We have three games coming up in the space of seven days so he’ll be back on board before no time.
“Personally I didn’t make much of it at all… I’ve seen far worse, that’s the way the referee saw it. Maybe he was behind play a little bit and didn’t have the best angle but pulled the card out pretty quick, so in his eyes it was a clear red.
“As I say, you see the reaction of the players of their players as well, there wasn’t much to it.”
Smeltz made a return to the A-League against his former side where he managed just over an hour of game time before being substituted for Matthew Ridenton.
The 35-year-old said he was feeling good physically and that he expected to be taken off during the game.
He said he was looking forward to his homecoming against the Mariners.
“Naturally I felt I was going to fade into the second half, but I think we got the most of what I could give in that game,” he said.
“It probably wasn’t the best trip to go to Perth for my first up, I enjoyed it. It was a great feeling to be back out there, playing for the club firstly and just disappointed we didn’t pick up any points but we’re certainly working on that.
“It was real honour to put the shirt on again. Albeit, this far away from Wellington. Really looking forward to this game.”