Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou said young defender Sam Gallagher will be given a second chance to impress, after ruling out Adama Traore to injury for their Hyundai A-League clash with Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night.
Gallagher, 21, was red-carded early into his Victory debut in the 2-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers, but an injury to Traore has given the full-back another crack at proving his worth in the A-League against the second-placed United.
Postecoglou said Traore would not be risked for fear of a prolonged stay on the sidelines.
"He's had a bit of a quad strain last week, and he hasn't trained at all," the Victory coach said at Gosch's Paddock on Thursday.
"We were hoping he'd get out there today, but he was still a bit sore ... if we throw him out there, we might lose him for five or six (matches) or we'll have to do without him."
Instead, Gallagher will get his chance against the high-flying Reds, and Postecoglou said he hoped the youngster would take the opportunity with both hands.
"He obviously had a bit of a false start last game, in terms of his Melbourne Victory career," he said.
"He's been training really well, he deserved his spot last time, and he gets another chance. That's how football works.
"As I kept saying to him, I can't give him a definite date on when they get their opportunity, you have just got to be ready when you get it."
Ahead of star midfielder Marcos Flores' return to Hindmarsh Stadium for the first time since he left the Reds, Postecoglou said he expected the Johnny Warren Medal winner to perform as if it were any other game.
"I expect what I expect every week from Marcos," he said.
"I don't think he's building himself up any differently to this game, to any other game. I'd be disappointed if he was.
"He's been really good for us the last 2-3 weeks, his fitness is now at a good level. He's able to do more in the role we want him to, so he's an important part of what we do, no doubt ... hopefully he has a positive influence on the game for us."
Postecoglou also took a broadside at the allocation of the lone A-League spot into the AFC Champions League, after reigning champions Brisbane Roar were put into qualifying while Premiers Plate winners Central Coast received a group-stage spot.
The ex-Roar tactician said he would contemplate a boycott were he still in charge at Suncorp Stadium.
"I just think it's confusing. I think every club, every player, every supporter wants their team to win, and to strive for something, and I don't think it's clearly defined right now," he said.
"I'm not sure who's supposed to deal with that, usually it's your own competition that does that ... I've been bemused by the whole thing all week. I'm surprised even Brisbane have taken it lying down to be honest, I wouldn't have. I'd almost pull out of the comp."