Adelaide United coach Carl Veart has gone into damage control in attempting to avoid a hefty punishment for questioning the integrity of referee Daniel Elder.
Veart was on Monday handed a show cause notice by Football Australia for comments he made about Elder, who was in charge of the Reds’ 4-1 weekend loss at Coopers Stadium to Sydney FC.
“You’d think that in a game of such importance, we would have got one of the top referees,’’ Veart said last Saturday night.
“But we get a South Australian referee that shows everyone he doesn’t want to be South Australian and goes harder against Adelaide United.
“He did it last time when we had him and he did it again.
“It’s not at the standard that it needs to be at the crucial part (of the season).”
Veart and Adelaide United have until Monday to explain why the coach should not be sanctioned, potentially via a fine, a suspension or both, for publicly attacking the integrity of Elder.
When asked on Wednesday about his comments, Veart began to back-pedal, despite not offering Elder an apology.
Adelaide United coach Carl Veart calls the shots at training. Picture: Jordan Trombetta.Source:Supplied
“It didn’t come out the way I wanted it to come out,” Veart said.
“I wasn’t supposed to have a direct go at Daniel.
“I thought he did a good job on the night overall.
“I was just getting frustrated over the course of the whole season.”
Reds director of football Bruce Djite said Veart had the backing of the club.
“We will work through the FA process with Carl, who has the full support of the club,” Djite said.
“Our focus remains on Thursday’s must-win game against Western Sydney Wanderers.”
The Reds can guarantee themselves a finals berth with a win at Coopers Stadium.
However, a loss the Wanderers would force Adelaide to rely on other results to finish in the top six.
“Our team in the last couple of weeks hasn’t played at a level we would want them to play at,” Veart said.
“Now it comes down to the last game of the season where we need to get something out of the game to go into the finals.
“We don’t want to limp over the line to get into the finals.
“We want to go in there and be a team that’s got an opportunity to win the grand final.
“When we’re at our best. we’re good enough.”
Veteran Reds defender Michael Marrone is set to replace the suspended Jordan Elsey, while key striker Tomi Juric will return from a calf injury.
“He (Juric) will come in as well and provide a good focal point for the team,” Veart said.
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