Thwaite criticises club's decision, but has no regrets
PERTH Glory defender Michael Thwaite was critical of his club this week, publicly expressing his disappointment at the way Billy Mehmet, Jesse Makarounas and Bas van den Brink were let go.
But the former Gold Coast United star said he had no regrets in joining the last-placed Glory this season, after United's messy demise.
"I'm definitely happy here - a major reason why I came here was for the players we've got and the lifestyle," the Socceroo representative said ahead of tonight's clash against the Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park.
Thwaite's comments were perceived by many as an attack on the management at his club.But he said his thoughts, which called for better direction from Glory officials in retaining players, could benefit the club.
"I'm never one to make accusations about my club, so I wasn't happy with the way those comments were portrayed," he said.
"I've said enough on that, but I think if the club can work on some things, a lot of positives can come from it."
It was later revealed that Glory owner Tony Sage would soon have heart surgery, having an effect on the delayed contract negotiations.
Thwaite also stuck by his under-fire coach Ian Ferguson, despite last season's finalists going its past seven games without a win.
"He brought me here and I'm very happy playing under Ian," he said.
"He's got another two years left on his contract and he's trying to get a good balance between our younger and more experience players moving forward."
The Glory's inability to score a goal in its past three games has also been heavily discussed, but Thwaite threw his confidence behind the out-of-form striker Shane Smeltz.
"We're hoping Smeltzy will be back this weekend (from a hip injury)," he said.
"He had a difficult year last year with Olympics and New Zealand national commitments, as well as some injuries.
"But he's still managed to score five goals for us this season, which is the most of any player at our club, and he always seems to score at the right time for us."
Thwaite believes the attack could be further bolstered with Argentinian attacking midfielder Matias Cordoba joining the squad this week and expected to debut off the bench tonight.
Meanwhile, the seventh-placed Heart's injury woes worsened, with the club's top scorer Josip Tadic out for the next four to six weeks with a broken toe.
And left back Sam Mitchinson could also miss up to four weeks due to a quad strain he suffered at training this week.