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Jan 27, 2011

Dodd saga won't distract Reds: Coolen

A contract saga with Adelaide United captain Travis Dodd won't distract the Reds in Saturday's A-League blockbuster against Central Coast Mariners, coach Rini Coolen says.

The third-placed Reds host the second-placed Mariners at Hindmarsh Stadium with Dodd's future in the balance.

The Reds skipper is believed to be favouring a three-year offer to join Perth Glory next season, with his agent accusing Adelaide of driving Dodd from the club.

Agent Buddy Farah told The World Game the Reds were playing "silly buggers" with Dodd, accusing the club of not negotiating in good faith.

Coolen on Friday said he was "surprised" by the agent's comments.

"Travis and we, we have a real good relationship, we know exactly how we work together so it's not an issue," Coolen said.

"And everyone knows that what is in that article is not true.

"They respect our situation and we definitely are going to respect his situation.

"Everybody knows that he has got a good offer from there for a couple of years, he has an offer from us ... it's his decision."

Coolen said Adelaide would not be distracted by a saga on the eve of the crucial clash with the Mariners, who enter the match with a one-point buffer over the Reds.

"We don't like all the things in the situation where we are now," he said.

"We are focussed and we are working hard together with all the players and we don't need things around our team.

"We know exactly what we want and how we prefer to keep him here."

Adelaide lost defender Iain Fyfe to a hamstring strain for the finals-shaping fixture against Central Coast.

Fyfe won't play again for Adelaide, now moving to South Korean club Busan I'Park.

"He had some problems with his hamstring ... it's not worth to take a risk and find out after a couple of minutes that it's not good enough," Coolen said of Fyfe, who will be replaced by Robert Cornthwaite in the starting line-up.

Coolen said Adelaide had prepared superbly for the Mariners.

"Everything is in our hands and it's a six point game against them," he said.

"It's one of the most important games for the season.

"We have trained the whole week fantastic, at a high level, and we are feeling confident."

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