Jets coach Ernie Merrick has slammed Brisbane Roar defender Jacob Pepper for a tackle on his star import Patricio Rodriguez.
The Argentine could not train Monday following the tackle which was missed by referee Jonathan Barreiro during the Jets' 1-0 win on Friday night.
Jets star Ronald Vargas suffered a broken ankle earlier this season which has seen the Newcastle mentor juggle a string of injuries as his side sits second on the A-League table.
“Pato is suffering from a horror tackle in the 54th minute when a player jumped in with two feet and landed on his ankle, but the referee said he didn’t see it despite being three metres away,” Merrick said.
“This is the sort of situation where the match review panel is supposed to look at games for things the referee has missed. If the ref had seen it and dealt with it, they wouldn’t be able to do anything.
.@NewcastleJetsFC coach Ernie Merrick wants officials to review the tackle that left @RodriguezPatoOk looking like this.. to his credit Pato played on without any fuss. Unfortunately he may not be fit to face @WgtnPhoenixFC this Saturday. #ALeague @ALeague pic.twitter.com/H075sp8nbv— Mitchell Hughes (@mitchhughesnbn) January 15, 2018
“But here the referee has stated he didn’t see it, when a player has taken off two metres before Pato and got him on the ankle.
“It meant that Pato couldn’t run with as much pace for the rest of the game, he’s been hobbling since and he currently can’t train fully.
“We were keen to have him in full training so he’d be available from the start next weekend.”
Merrick said Rodriguez was lucky not to have severely injured his ankle.
“He’s very lucky, if he’d had more weight on the ankle it would have been broken for sure," he said.
“These are the sort of tackles we’re trying to get rid of in the A-League. We’ve already lost Vargas, though that wasn’t due to the tackle, but he’s out for 16 weeks. We don’t want to lose our best players because someone decides to launch into a two-footed tackle.
“I’ve made Ben Wilson, the FFA’s referees director, aware of it and now it’s up to them.”
The MRP meets Monday afternoon.