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Perth Glory not rushing to replace Milicevic

Despite Ljubo Milicevic's departure from the club, Perth coach Alistair Edwards isn't rushing to find a replacement.

Perth Glory coach Alistair Edwards sees no need to recruit another centre back in the wake of Ljubo Milicevic's stunning decision to walk out on the club last week.

Milicevic was a mere two months into a three-year deal with the Glory before making his dramatic about-face and Edwards admitted it would have been preferable to have Milicevic stick with Perth.

But while Edwards didn't completely rule out the possibility of bringing in a replacement for Milicevic, the Glory mentor has full confidence in his current squad to cover the loss of the 32-year-old.

"We weren't really actively seeking another centre back because we've got Michael Thwaite, who is a Socceroo in waiting, Steve Pantelidis, who is probably the most underrated defender in the whole competition," Edwards said.

"We've got Jack Clisby and Brandon O'Neill as young understudies which fits into our philosophy.

"When Ljubo made the call to us, we thought: 'Oh yeah, a player of that calibre would be good to come in'.

"So unless a player of that calibre comes on the market then we won't be looking to replace him because we're very happy with the squad that we've got."

Despite Edwards' best intentions to have Milicevic included in the Glory's plans for the immediate future, Edwards conceded the former Socceroo struggled to adjust to life at the club.

"We were hoping that with Ljubo coming to Perth it would be a good fit for him in terms of getting back and playing in the A-League," Edwards said.

"Ljubo didn't really settle and it hasn't worked out unfortunately. (He's a) great player, we would have liked to have had him playing for us in the A-League."

Glory striker Shane Smeltz denied the dramas surrounding the eyebrow-raising recruitment, and prompt departure, of Milicevic had served as a distraction for the team.

"Look, he's left now and certainly no one's concerned about where the club's heading at this stage," Smeltz said.

"We're in a good position and right on the cusp of going into the season so our full focus is on that."

Smeltz said he was 'feeling fresh and hungrier than ever' following hip surgery in the pre-season and Edwards has marvelled at how his star player has gone about his rehabilitation.

"He's been incredible with his work ethic," Edwards said.

"He's been training three times a day to get back on the field.

"Shane's a quality player, a quality individual and looking forward to having him available probably Week 4 or 5 in the season."

The Glory kick off their 2013-14 campaign against Adelaide at Coopers Stadium on Sunday.

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