Fowler dropped but understands

Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson insists marquee man Robbie Fowler wasn’t angry at being dropped to the bench for Wednesday night’s 0-0 A-League draw with Melbourne Heart.

Last season at North Queensland Fury, Fowler hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons when he refused to take his place on the bench for a game against Brisbane Roar when then-Fury coach Ferguson dropped him from the starting line-up.

The pair quickly patched up their differences and Ferguson played a key role in luring Fowler to Perth this season.

Fowler has struggled to find top form since returning from a recent holiday to England but looked sharp after coming on in the 65th minute against Heart, helping break Glory’s seven-game losing run.

Ferguson said the 35-year-old was content to come off the bench given Perth’s hectic schedule, which has the club playing four games in 12 days.

“I really hate when last season’s tiff is brought up all the time because there was never anything in it,” Ferguson said.

“There was never any malice or any harm with me and Robbie Fowler, hatred or whatever.

“Robbie’s professional, I’m professional, I make the decisions and Robbie respected that.

“When I told him he was on the bench it wasn’t a problem.

“He played over against Central Coast Mariners and then had to fly back.

“At 35 I just felt at times it might be too much, two games in quick succession.

“He came off the bench and I thought he did a fantastic job for us.

“He did well, held the ball, put some good balls through. I was pleased.”

Perth’s first competition point since September 5 kept the club five points adrift of sixth-placed Heart, who joined fifth-placed Melbourne Victory on 17 points.

Heart’s next game is away to North Queensland on Wednesday and coach John van ‘t Schip was hopeful striker Alex Terra would be fit to take part.

“It’s difficult to say. Alex every time we think he can play then he gets a little injury and drops behind for a few days,” van ‘t Schip said.

“Now he’s on a good program so hopefully he can be available for the game, if not he will be available for the game after against Brisbane.

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