Victory lose key defender again

Key Melbourne Victory defender Ryan Shotton’s comeback from a groin injury has lasted less than a full match, with the Englishman ruled out of the A-League cellar dwellers’ clash with champions Sydney FC at AAMI Park on Sunday.

Shotton was a second-half substitute in the Victory’s 1-1 draw with the Central Coast Mariners last Saturday in Gosford in his first appearance for the club in more than a month.

But the 32-year-old centre-back suffered a knee injury during his time on the park and won’t play in the “Big Blue”.

“He’s not pulled up to well after the game,” Victory coach Grant Brebner said of Shotton.

“He came back, he played about 30 minutes and he’s felt his knee a little bit towards the end of the game, so again it’s something that we’re having a look at continually.

“He will not be in the squad this weekend.”

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Shotton’s woes are part of ongoing injury problems at the Victory, with fellow import Rudy Gestede no certainty to return from a knee injury on Sunday, Kiwi start Marco Rojas still nursing a broken leg and skipper Leigh Broxham also in doubt for the clash.

“We’re desperate to get more players into our squad so we can start looking like a strong starting 11,” Brebner said.

An honourable draw against the high-flying Mariners – a result that snapped a four-game losing streak – has done little to ease the pain being felt by the Victory.

“It’s a platform, it’s a positive … (but) I’m not getting carried away, I’m not getting excited,”: Brebner said.

“We saw some desperate defending, we saw some qualities that maybe … in previous games had been a little bit more open, so we can look at that, we can build on that but ultimately we’re in the winning games business and we need to keep winning games.”

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