Perth Glory owner Tony Sage has revealed that star signing Daniel Sturridge pulled out of the side’s clash with Western United as he struggles to acclimatise to long flights to games.
According to Sage, the former Liverpool striker went to coach Richard Garcia after the flight from Perth to Melbourne to tell him he wasn’t able to contribute.
While Sage says Sturridge wouldn’t have started anyway as he looks to build up his fitness, he admitted he was surprised when the Englishman was left off the team sheet entirely.
“Look, a lot of consultation goes ahead, and when I saw the team sheet I made the call to sound out why (Sturridge was left off),” Sage said on SEN.
“After a talk between the two – the player and the coach – he didn’t feel he could contribute.
“Richie (Richard Garcia) said it in the post-match, he’s not used to a four-hour flight to a game. He’s just not used to it.”
Sage says Sturridge was suffering cramps after the long flight which ultimately ruled him out of the clash.
“He pulled up on the plane a little bit crampy, when they did their walk and that he didn’t feel comfortable when they did the team walk,” Sage said.
“So, he went up to Richie and said, ‘Look, I might not be ready this week’.”
With seven fixtures away until the side heads back home, Sage believes the 32-year-old will slowly build up his match fitness until he’ll be ready to start on a regular basis in January.
“He’s got a full week of training now in Melbourne with the squad, no distractions and I think you’ll see he’ll get at least 10-15 minutes next week building up,” Sage said.
“I think you’ll see him start by the time he gets back here (to Perth).”
The Glory next face Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Sunday, December 5.