ALM Match Preview: RZ banking on accountability in Ballarat clash

Accountability has been a key focus among the Glory squad this week according to Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich.

The men in purple will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s unfortunate defeat against Brisbane Roar when they face Western United at Ballarat’s MARS Stadium on Saturday (kick-off at 2pm WST).

And Zadkovich believes that his players are in the correct mindset to secure a victory which could propel them to within one point of the top six.

View his full pre-match media conference HERE.

“We know Western United are last year’s champions and they have a lot of those players still at the club, so we have to be very careful,” he said.

“But the focus needs to remain firmly on us.

“There are areas we need to improve in if we want to win games and at the moment, even though there have been some good performances in patches, those lapses in concentration are hurting us.

“We need to focus on ourselves, make sure we do our work for longer periods and make sure it’s a 95-minute performance.

“I feel if we do that, we’re good enough to beat anyone and Western United are no exception to that.

“We need to be accountable.

“The playing group have been big on that this week.

“They want to hold each other accountable for longer periods in games and I know we’ll be up for the fight.

“I’m really excited to see how we go this week and I think we can get a good reaction.”

While disappointed to have left Brisbane empty-handed last time out, Zadkovich felt that the game was indicative of what is an incredibly tight competition this year.

“The way the ladder is at the moment, every game is so competitive,” he said.

“It’s easy to get very reactive on performances, but it’s very important to stay focused to the bigger picture and clear direction that we’re trying to head in.

“I look at Brisbane… and they haven’t won many games at home and obviously we were disappointed to give them those goals.

“But not many teams have gone to Brisbane and won.

“There have been a lot of tight games.”

In terms of early team news, Glory will be without the suspended Ryan Williams and Darryl Lachman will also miss out after being hospitalised with a head injury sustained during the Roar game.

“Darryl’s going well,” said Zadkovich.

“He did an activation session yesterday and some controlled stuff that is within the concussion protocols.

“He’s got a few stitches on his forehead and a pretty solid knock there and I’ve tried to remind him that the scar’s not going to hurt his good looks too much!

“The nice thing is that he’s in good spirits and he’s back moving.

“Obviously he’s a big loss for us this week, but if all goes well with his concussion protocols, he’ll come back into contention for the next game.”

Western United currently sit one place and one point below Glory in the table but won for the first time in five attempts last weekend when they downed Newcastle Jets 3-1 at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Among their most consistent performers this season have been ex-Glory midfielder Neil Kilkenny and veteran goalkeeper Jamie Young, while another former Glory man, Josh Risdon, has contributed five assists.

Nicolas Milanovic and Aleksandar Prijovic have each grabbed four goals this term, with young forward Noah Botic scoring three.

Although United have won five of the previous eight meetings between the two sides, the most recent of those clashes saw Glory secure a 2-1 victory at Macedonia Park in Round 7.

Match Details

ISUZU UTE A-League 2022/23 Season Round 19

Western United v Perth Glory

Saturday 4 March 2023

MARS Stadium, Ballarat

Kick-off: 2pm WST

Western United squad: 1. Jamie YOUNG (gk), 4. Leo LACROIX, 5. Dylan PIERIAS, 6. Tomoki IMAI, 7. Tongo DOUMBIA, 8. Lachie WALES, 9. Michael RUHS, 10. Steven LUSTICA, 11. Connor PAIN, 14. James TROISI, 17. Ben GARUCCIO, 19. Josh RISDON, 21. Sebastian PASQUALI, 23. Alessandro DIAMANTI (c), 27. Jacob TRATT, 31. Adisu BAYEW, 37. Ryan SCOTT (gk) 38. Noah BOTIC, 44. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 88. Neil KILKENNY, 99. Aleksandar PRIJOVIC 

Ins: 10. Steven LUSTICA (returns from injury), 44. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (returns from injury), 99. Aleksandar PRIJOVIC (returns from injury) 

Outs: Nil 

Unavailable: 20. Ramy NAJJARINE (injured), 24. Connor O’TOOLE (injured) 42. Rhys BOZINOVSKI (international duty)

Perth Glory squad: 2.John KOUTROUMBIS, 3.Jacob DOWSE, 4.Luke BODNAR, 5.Mark BEEVERS, 6.Aaron MCENEFF, 8.Mustafa AMINI (c), 10.Salim KHELIFI, 13.Cameron COOK (gk),14.Jack CLISBY, 15.Jordan ELSEY, 16.Keegan JELACIC, 18.David WILLIAMS, 19.Zach DUNCAN, 20.Giordano COLLI, 21.Antonee BURKE-GILROY, 22.Adam TAGGART, 30.Pierce CLARK (gk), 37.Jacob MUIR, 43.Adam ZIMARINO

Ins: 3.Jacob DOWSE, 19.Zach DUNCAN, 37.Jacob MUIR

Outs: 7.Ryan WILLIAMS, 29.Darryl LACHMAN

Unavailable: 1.Brad JONES (gk) (injured), 7.Ryan WILLIAMS (suspended), 24.Adrian SARDINERO (injured), 29.Darryl LACHMAN (injured)