Brisbane Roar coach Warren Moon has slammed Football Australia's scheduling of the Australia Cup playoffs involving A-League Men's teams just days after the regular season concludes.
The bottom-four sides from the ALM have to play a single-legged fixture for a spot in the final rounds of the tournament, which used to be called the FFA Cup, with Newcastle to host Perth on Thursday before the Roar travel to play Western Sydney on Friday.
The winners of the ties will join the eight other ALM clubs in the pot for the round of 32 in this year's Cup.
After a gruelling season which involved COVID-19 dramas, fixture chaos and travel issues, Roar boss Moon is disappointed his team is being asked to play their game just three days after wrapping up their ALM campaign with a 3-1 win over Sydney FC on Tuesday night.
"Just poorly placed. We're in a long arduous season and they stick this game here," said Moon, who coached Brisbane clubs Peninsula Power and Queensland Lions in the competition as well as the Roar.
"The FFA Cup is wonderful. I think it's the best thing that's happened to this country's football.
"But it's now time to get serious around what the A-League teams do and when they come into the competition.
"I've been on both sides. So I love the leg up for the NPL sides and the local teams but I think the time now is to look at how we do this differently.
"Throwing this game at the back end of a really tough season for everyone, in my view, it's wrong. It needs to be looked at."
Moon isn't the only coach put out by the playoff timing with Glory coach Ruben Zadkovich admitting he'll be patching together a squad from his ALM wooden spooners for the trip to take on the Jets at Jack McLaughlin Oval in Edgeworth.
Zadkovich says five players from the team which ended the Glory's campaign with a shock 2-0 win over premiership-winners Melbourne City are unlikely to fly east while former England and Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is also doubtful to travel.
Moon believes it is disappointing for clubs to be put in such a scenario for a competition he desperately wants his club to do well in.
"Mentally and physically our boys have gone through a lot," he said.
"Again, another three-day turnaround and we're playing.
"I know this was the same as last year and we weren't in that position because we finished fourth but I didn't agree with it then and I don't agree with it now.
"The time has come. We've got this tournament up and running. We have to look at this now and where it's placed and how we schedule it."
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.