AAP Soccer

Berisha pushing for Western United return

By AAP Newswire

Just like the A-League defences he's pestered since 2011, Western United coach Mark Rudan is discovering it's hard to keep Besart Berisha out of the action.

The veteran striker is pushing for an instant return to the A-League newcomers' line-up after being rested for last weekend's 2-1 win over Western Sydney.

Rudan admitted on Thursday Berisha had been on the front foot following his week off but he was yet to decide if the 34-year-old or Kwabena Appiah-Kubi will start in Saturday's match against Newcastle.

Appiah-Kubi scored the winner against the Wanderers and Rudan admitted he had a tough call to make.

"He (Berisha) demanded to train with the team again," Rudan said.

"So it was an interesting conversation and he's eager to get back in which is normal.

"He had that week off to recharge his batteries and it's been an interesting one because we've worked with both players.

"It's not going to be an easy decision for myself and the coaching staff but we'll make the decision on game day."

Rudan will also hold fire on making a call on Panagiotis Kone's fitness until matchday with the Greek playmaker limping off early against the Wanderers with a hamstring injury.

"He's touch and go. We've got to be smart with him as well but it's not as bad as first thought," Rudan said.

"If he does miss this game he's definitely back in the week after."

With fullback Josh Risdon on Socceroos duty in Jordan, Rudan said he had a couple of options to fill that spot including Ivan Vujica and Dylan Pierias.

He also didn't rule out Risdon from making a surprise appearance depending on his travel back from the Middle East.

"He gets back on the morning of the game as well," Rudan said.

"We're in constant contact with Josh. He still may play a part. Again, it's another decision we'll make on the day of the game."