Perth Glory interim coach Ruben Zadkovich says the last few weeks finally caught up with his young players after they suffered a 6-1 drubbing against the Newcastle Jets.
Glory sit bottom of the A-League ladder following the defeat and are priced at 1/100 to pick up the first wooden spoon in the club’s history.
Glory have been on a poor run of form and have not been helped by a crippling injury list that has robbed them of key players.
Zadkovich, who was handed the job until the end of the season after Richard Garcia was sacked, has been forced to blood a host of young players. And he says everything finally caught up with them against the Jets.
The Glory boss accepts it has been tough for the youngsters, but still says some aspects of their play was not good enough and he expected better from them.
“It hurts a lot,” Zadkovich said. “It was a bridge too far for a lot of those young players. Some of those young guys learnt a lot of hard lessons, about what football is like at this level and travelling away from home.
“That one caught up with us a little bit after what we’ve been though in the last few weeks. I’m proud of a lot of guys efforts but I’m also bitterly disappointed with the decision making.
“Even though it is a young and inexperienced squad I expect a better standard of decision making under pressure.”
Even so Zadkovich tried to remain upbeat and believes the future can be a bright one if they continue to nurture the youngsters.
“It’s about looking at the squad we have. It’s about building for the future,” he added. “It’s about growing through adversity. They’ll learn a lot of hard lessons really quickly.”