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Jan 31, 2024   |  2:32PM AET

ALM Match Preview: Home support vital on Friday night – Staj

ALM Match Preview: Home support vital on Friday night – Staj

Glory Head Coach Alen Stajcic believes that the club’s Members and fans will have a key role to play in helping the men in purple maintain their recent improvement when they face Melbourne City at HBF Park on Friday evening (kick-off at 6:45pm, tickets available HERE).

Watch his full pre-match media conference HERE.

The hosts will head into the Isuzu UTE A-League Round 15 clash looking to build upon two encouraging away performances against Western Sydney Wanderers and Macarthur FC which yielded four precious points.

And the Head Coach feels that the home support can drive his players to new heights as they look to get the better of the reigning Premiers.

“It means a lot [to be back at HBF Park],” he said.

“It’s a much bigger factor than just the actual flight away.

“The feeling they [the players] get playing at home from the fans is something they express all the time and I can’t express enough how important it is for everyone to get out there and support them.

“What we have shown over the last couple of months and in particular the last month, is that these players are fighting for the club.

“So the more they feel the love in return [the better] and getting five or six thousand people, obviously we’re grateful for everyone that turns out, but if we could double that I’m sure they’ll grow an extra leg on Friday night and in every game after that.

“The more people that come out to support, it certainly gives the players that extra emotion.”

Stajcic went on to reiterate his opinion that his improving side have what it takes to go toe-to-toe with any team in the competition.

“We’ve had a couple of good results that have matched our performances, which is always a little bit refreshing,” he said.

“We’ve probably done well over the past four or five weeks, to be honest, improving in terms of how we’ve played, so it’s good to be getting a little bit of reward for that.

“We’ve just got a little bit better belief.

“Obviously we’ve still got a few factors that we’d like to improve and I’ve said that many times regardless of whether we’ve been winning or losing.

“There’s a lot of belief in the team that we’re still competitive and can beat anyone on any given day and that’s really important when you’re towards the bottom of the ladder.

“We’ve played Melbourne Victory and Wellington, who are top two and could easily have got results in both of those games and against Victory we were one man short for 45 minutes.

“So even though we lost both of those games, it still gives us a lot of belief to know that we can beat anyone on a given day.”

In terms of squad news, the Head Coach confirmed that leading scorer Adam Taggart is a chance to return after missing the trip to Macarthur through injury and that new loan signing Josh Rawlins may also come into selection contention.

“We’re not sure yet [about Taggart]; it’s still 50/50,” he said.

“We’ll see how he pulls up after training over the next couple of days.

“It’s just a niggle in one of his leg muscles.

“[Josh] hasn’t trained with us much as he just came in at the end of last week.

“So we’ll integrate him into full training in the next couple of days.

“We’ve only just returned from Sydney, so it’s a short training week for us and a short turnaround.

“It’s a great boost to the team and everyone is excited to have him here.”

Friday night’s opponents have experienced a mixed campaign thus far this year which has included an 8-1 demolition of Brisbane Roar and a 6-0 thumping at the hands of Adelaide United.

They at least partially avenged that Adelaide defeat by beating the Reds 1-0 last time out and currently sit sixth in the table having won six and lost five of their 14 games.

Former Glory man Jamie Maclaren is their leading scorer, once again, with seven goals, while German import Tolgay Arslan is enjoying an impressive debut A-League campaign having already scored four and claimed five assists.

City have secured maximum points on each of their last two visits to WA, but overall, Glory have enjoyed 10 wins to the Victorians’ six in this fixture.

Match Details

Isuzu UTE A-League 2023/24 Season Round 15

Perth Glory v Melbourne City

HBF Park

Friday 2 February 2024

Kick-off: 6:45pm

Referee: Shane Skinner

Perth Glory squad: 1.Oli SAIL (gk), 2.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 3.Jacob MUIR, 4.Luke BODNAR, 7.Stefan COLAKOVSKI, 8.Mustafa AMINI (c), 9.David WILLIAMS, 11.Adam ZIMARINO, 12.Luke IVANOVIC, 13.Cameron COOK (gk), 14.Riley WARLAND, 15.Aleksandar SUSNJAR, 17.Jarrod CARLUCCIO, 19.Trent OSTLER, 20.Giordano COLLI, 23.Daniel BENNIE, 27.Jayden GORMAN, 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 34.Andriano LEBIB, 77.Bruce KAMAU

Two to be omitted

Ins: 3.Jacob MUIR, 27.Jayden GORMAN

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 5.Mark BEEVERS (co-c) (injured), 21.Antonis MARTIS (injured), 22.Adam TAGGART (injured), 28.Kaelan MAJEKODUNMI (injured)

Melbourne City squad: 1. Jamie YOUNG (GK), 2. Scott GALLOWAY, 4. Nuno REIS, 6. Steven UGARKOVIC, 7. Mathew LECKIE, 8. James JEGGO, 9. Jamie MACLAREN (C), 10. Tolgay ARSLAN, 11. Leo NATEL, 15. Andrew NABBOUT, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 18. Jordon HALL, 21. Alessandro LOPANE, 22. Curtis GOOD, 25. Callum TALBOT, 33. Patrick BEACH (GK), 35. Zane SCHREIBER, 37. Max CAPUTO, 38. Harry POLITIDIS, 46. Ben MAZZEO

Ins: 4. Nuno REIS (returns from personal reasons), 7. Mathew LECKIE (returns from injury), 8. James JEGGO (new signing)

Outs: 53. Harry SHILLINGTON (not selected)

Unavailable: 23. Marco TILIO (international duty), 26. Samuel SOUPRAYEN (groin), 34. Arion SULEMANI (ACL), 44. Marin JAKOLIS (hamstring)

#ONEGlory