Star signing Adam Taggart doubts Perth Glory’s trip to New Zealand to face the in-form Wellington Phoenix as they seek to extend their unbeaten run to five games.

Already facing one of the longest away trips in world sport, the Glory could be without their freshly signed striker a week after his victorious appearance from the bench against Melbourne Victory.

In another blow, Perth could also be without the services of fan favorite Salim Khelifi for an extended period after limping off in the 3-1 win over Melbourne last Saturday.

Taggart was held back from starting his third spell at the hometown club after suffering a slight quad strain, before scoring two late goals from the bench to help Perth beat Victory in their second leg.

Glory coach Ruben Zadkovich said he would be careful with Taggart, who did not practice on Wednesday but is expected to hit the track on Thursday in a bid to prove his fitness ahead of the weekend.

“He had a slight tension that we were trying to manage before this game. It’s a bit fiery, it’s not too bad, it’s just something we have to deal with, ”he said.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 21: Salim Khelifi of Glory in action during the Men's A-League Round 13 match between Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory at Macedonia Park on January 21, 2023, in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Camera iconPERTH, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 21: Salim Khelifi of Glory in action during the Men’s A-League Round 13 match between Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory at Macedonia Park on January 21, 2023, in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

“We’ll take a long-term view that if it’s not good then it won’t travel.”

Khelifi, who had just returned from a groin injury, will miss Wellington’s game with a foot injury and Zadkovich said the Tunisian could be out for several weeks.

“His injury is under consideration, at this stage. It looks like a serious injury – for me he’s probably been our most outstanding player consistently,” Zadkovich said.

“Jack Clisby being suspended, Adam Taggart’s quad… it’s one of those weeks where we’re certainly disappointed to lose some quality players and we’ll be a bit weaker on that side, but I have really want to come back to the young players.

New signing Jordan Elsey could make his debut for Perth, who have moved up to seventh in the table, and a win over Wellington would see them level fourth-placed Phoenix.

“They are probably the in-form team in the competition at the moment with three wins, but I also note that they have only won three out of eight at home, so there are opportunities there,” said Zadkovich said.

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