Southeast Asia Indonesia

Michael Essien and Carlton Cole have trouble adapting to Indonesia

After sitting out Persib Bandung’s first win of the Indonesia Liga 1 season, marquee players Michael Essien and Carlton Cole are again not guaranteed to start in Wednesday’s game at Gresik United.

Essien was introduced late second-half while Cole did not come off the bench on Saturday.

The pair have yet to make any impact on Persib after arriving in March.

According to head coach Djadjang Nurdjaman, the pair may need more time to settle.

“They can’t fully adapt to the weather and are struggling to sleep,” Djadjang revealed in a media conference.

“That has an effect on the field and in training.”

“We will take a look at all the players who played and all who didn’t,” Djadjang continued.

“We are ready to rotate and to rest players whenever it is necessary.”

With the team flying from West Java to the far east of the island, the starting line-up will be decided at the last moment.

Essien, the former midfielder of Chelsea and Real Madrid, has started one game so far, playing 78 minutes of the opening goalless draw against Arema.

The industrious Ghanaian scored as a second-half substitute in the 2-2 draw at PS TNI and came off the bench for the final 11 minutes against Sriwijaya.

Ex-England international Cole has yet to start a league game or score in his two second-half substitute appearances. Both may get a chance at Gresik.