Glen Moss may pull on a goalkeeper jersey again but Newcastle Jets coach Carl Robinson could not risk the veteran shot-stopper hanging up his gloves without claiming his landmark 250th Hyundai A-League appearance.
Robinson sent Moss on to the McDonald Jones Stadium pitch as an 86th-minute substitute in the Jets’ 2-1 win against Melbourne City on Monday night to bring up the milestone, making him the fourth goalkeeper to reach that achievement after Liam Reddy, Eugene Galekovic and Danny Vukovic.
The 37-year-old Kiwi gloveman had announced that the 2019/20 Hyundai A-League campaign would be his final one before retirement and, with uncertainty over when the season will resume, Robinson was taking no chances in honouring the former Wellington Phoenix custodian.
The Welshman admits outfield players Nick Fitzgerald and Connor O’Toole were struggling to get through 90 minutes but his final substitution was being saved for the returning Moss, who had missed the Jets’ last nine games with a calf injury sustained in January.
“I made the decision early that I wanted to put [Glen] Mossy on because he’s a genuinely good person.”
“He’s probably going to retire at the end of the year, which we all know. When that will be, we don’t know,” said Robinson.
Goals from Fitzgerald and Steven Ugarkovic earned the home side an impressive triumph against the competition’s second-placed side, brining the long-term strugglers within three points of the top six.
The Hunter-based club have seen a dramatic upturn in fortunes since Robinson’s arrival but Robinson insists it is his players who deserve the plaudits for their run of three wins and two draws from his six matches in the dugout.
“I said to the players they have been a pleasure to work with,” Robinson added.
“Coming into training every day, they don’t complain about nothing.
“They get on with it. Their mentality is good and they want to learn.
“All I have done is been the driving force to coach them and teach them and put them into positions.
“It’s them, when they step across that white line that do the work and they deserve the credit.”
Melbourne City assistant coach Patrick Kisnorbo had nothing but compliments for the mentality of his players and staff after competing in two away games over the space of four days, having beaten the Central Coast Mariners 4-2 on Friday.
“To be fair, our team has done great,” Kisnorbo said.
“The players and staff, we’ve come from Melbourne and been away for a week to try and get these games up and running.
“Obviously we were supposed to be at home this week.
“It’s our second game in four days, so we’ve done everything we possible can to keep the league going.
“Sometimes, things get taken away from you, but I can’t complain about the players and staff.
“[They have been] tremendous with difficult circumstances all around the world.”