ALM Match Preview: Glory out to ride confidence wave against Sky Blues

Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich is hoping his side can ride a confidence wave and continue their impressive home form at the expense of Sydney FC on Saturday (kick-off at 7.30pm, tickets HERE).

Glory have picked up ten points from a possible 12 since starting life at their temporary Macedonia Park home last month, moving to within touching distance of the top six in the process.

And Zadkovich is naturally desperate to see the men in purple maintain that upward trajectory.

View his full pre-match media conference HERE.

“Fortunes change and so does confidence,” he said.

“It’s always on a bit of a balance board for a lot of teams.

“I think momentum is important and I think you need to gain as much confidence and momentum as you can and then ride that wave and that’s what we’re certainly going to try and do.

“It’s difficult circumstances for us at the moment with the quick turnarounds, but the boys are embracing the challenge.

“Perth are notoriously good at home and have been for a long time and a lot of that comes down to our Members and fans who are very loyal and passionate and they give us the feeling of an extra man.

“I know the players really appreciate that, so we want to continue on with our home form being strong and making it a place that’s difficult for other teams to come and play at.”

A win on Saturday would see Glory leapfrog Sydney FC in the table, but Zadkovich is not expecting anything other than a very stern test from a side coached by his former Sky Blues teammate, Steve Corica.

“[We are] very wary of them,” he said.

“They’re a massive club.

“I know Steve Corica well and I know that club well.

“They’re a club that wins trophies; I remember me and Stevie winning the first [A-League] championship together.

“They expect to win.

“They’re a team that has been hot and cold and when they’re hot, they’re good.

“They won away at Melbourne City which is no easy feat.

“They’re a strong team and they’ve had a couple of big performances where they’ve put a lot of goals on teams and then they’ve also had some other games where they’ve been vulnerable.

“So we’ll look to expose them as much as we can in those areas of potential weakness, but we’ll have to defend well as a collective.

“They have a million-dollar frontline and we have to make sure we’re on our toes.”

In terms of early team news, meanwhile, the Head Coach confirmed that new signing Adam Taggart’s highly-anticipated return to the famous purple has unfortunately been delayed.

“Taggs was tracking really well, but he’s had a little minor setback this week with some tightness in his quad, so he’s going to be one or two weeks away, I’d say, from being able to play some minutes,” he said.

“But he’s still progressing well.

“There are a lot of tired bodies and it’s going to be our fourth game in 12 or 13 days, so it’s not an easy period for the boys.

“But as usual, their professionalism and the standard of our recovery protocols have been really high, so hopefully we can get as many guys on deck at training tomorrow and then we can pick from there.

“We’re going to have to look at all three [Mark Beevers, Salim Khelifi and Ryan Williams] and I’d have to say they’re all in doubt, which is disappointing.

“But we’ve still got another day and this afternoon and there’s a lot of work being done behind the scenes.

“A few of those guys will have to pass fitness tests if not tomorrow, then on gameday, in order to see if they’re available.

“But we’ll focus on the ones we do have.

“I’m always very positive about that; if someone’s not playing, there’s an opportunity there for someone else who may be desperate for minutes.

“As long as that desperation shows in their performance and they lay everything on the line, then we should be fine.”

Sydney will head west looking to bounce back from last weekend’s dramatic 1-0 defeat at the hands of Wellington, their third loss in four games.

Among their best performers this season have been Slovakian international Robert Mak, who has scored four goals and English duo Adam le Fondre and Joe Lolley who have bagged three apiece.

The Sky Blues will again be without injured skipper Alex Wilkinson, although Jack Rodwell is likely to feature, along with Socceroos duo Rhyan Grant and Andrew Redmayne.

13 of the 26 meetings between the two sides here in WA have gone the way of the visitors, with Glory’s last victory on home soil coming in January 2019.

Match Details

ISUZU UTE A-League 2022/23 Season Round 12

Perth Glory v Sydney FC

Macedonia Park

Saturday 15 January 2023

Kick-off: 7.30pm WST

Perth Glory squad: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.John KOUTROUMBIS, 3.Jacob DOWSE, 4.Luke BODNAR, 5.Mark BEEVERS, 7.Ryan WILLIAMS, 8.Mustafa AMINI (c), 12.Luke IVANOVIC, 13.Cameron COOK (gk), 14.Jack CLISBY, 16.Keegan JELACIC, 18.David WILLIAMS, 19.Zach DUNCAN, 20.Giordano COLLI, 23.Mitch OXBORROW, 28.Trent OSTLER, 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 36.Joseph FORDE, 37.Jacob MUIR, 43.Adam ZIMARINO

Ins: 23.Mitch OXBORROW, 28.Trent OSTLER

Outs: None 

Unavailable: 1.Brad JONES (gk) (injured), 10.Salim KHELIFI (injured), 21.Anthony BURKE-GILROY (injured), 22.Adam TAGGART (injured), 24.Adrian SARDINERO (injured)

Sydney FC squad: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 2. James DONACHIE, 5. Connor O’TOOLE, 6. Jack RODWELL, 8. Paulo RETRE, 9. Adam LE FONDRE, 10. Joe LOLLEY, 11. Robert MAK, 12. Pat WOOD, 17. Anthony CACERES, 18. Diego CABALLO, 19. Adrian SEGECIC, 20. Thomas HEWARD-BELLE (GK), 22. Max BURGESS, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 25. Jaiden KUCHARSKI, 26. Luke BRATTAN ©, 27. Adrian VLASTELICA, 28. Jake GIRDWOOD-REICH, 29. Aaron GURD.

(2-4 to be omitted)

Ins: 10. Joe LOLLEY (return from suspension), 26. Luke BRATTAN © (return from illness), 27. Adrian VLASTELICA (return from illness).

Outs: 16. Patrick YAZBEK (due to 8-day concussion rule)

Unavailable: 4.Alex WILKINSON (c) (injured)