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Nov 01, 2023   |  1:19PM AET

ALM Match Preview: Stajcic seeking improvement in “crucial moments”

ALM Match Preview: Stajcic seeking improvement in “crucial moments”

Glory Head Coach Alen Stajcic is confident that his side will build on the positives from the opening two rounds in Saturday’s home clash with his former club, Central Coast Mariners (kick-off at 6.45pm, tickets available HERE).

The men in purple have claimed one point from fixtures against Newcastle Jets and Wellington Phoenix, but were unfortunate not to come away with greater rewards.

And Stajcic feels that the nature of those performances indicate that a first win of the campaign is not far away.

Click HERE to view his full pre-match media conference.

“Everyone is still positive,” he said.

“We know that there have been probably one-and-a-half good performances.

“The first 20, 30 minutes of the first half the other day [v Wellington] probably wasn’t our best, but we know that we can improve throughout a game which we have done both times now.

“And the fact that we’ve created as many chances as we have throughout those matches just shows that we do belong towards the top, but we’ve just got to make sure that we execute those important details at crucial moments in the games.

“We know that it’s a results-based business and we can’t ever forget that, but we know that we were in the match and probably dominated in terms of chances created versus how many we’ve given up.

“But ultimately football comes down to crucial moments and on that ledger, we haven’t been good enough to this point.

“I’m still pleased with how we’re tracking.

“We knew it would be a bumpy start and you always hope that you can get results during that period, but we are certainly going to have to work hard to earn every point that we can.”

Switching his attentions to the injury situation, the Head Coach confirmed that there could be some returnees to the squad to face the Mariners.

“There was a large group of boys that stayed back while 18 players went over to Wellington, so I’m hoping that some of the boys might be available this week,” he said.

“Some of them are a little bit touch and go, but we’ll find out more as we head towards Thursday and Friday.

“There are certainly a couple that are close.”

Glory will be up against a Central Coast side also seeking their first win of the campaign, but Stajcic is keenly aware of the offensive threat they will pose at HBF Park.

“In their first game against Adelaide, and we saw what Adelaide did to Melbourne City last weekend, I thought Mariners were on top and should have been ahead by two or three goals in the first half-hour,” he said.

“They then had two unfortunate injuries… and that changed the match.

“They ended up losing 3-0, but that game could have been 6 or 7-3 to Adelaide.

“They certainly showed that they’re a good attacking force.

“They’ve been playing a lot and they’re playing in the AFC Cup as well, so they’ve got a lot of games under their belts and opportunities to get team cohesion even with a lot of new players that have come into the squad.

“As reigning Champions, there’s still a core of those players there, like [Marco] Tulio… and Vuka [Danny Vukovic] in goal.

“They’re a good side and it’s a tough game for us, but every game is tough in the A-League.”

Saturday’s game is set to be a memorable one for David Williams as he prepare to make his 200th career A-League appearance and Stajcic was quick to pay tribute to the livewire Glory striker.

“Willo is a great character,” he said.

“This is the first time I’ve worked with him, but having watched him over east, I know what an exciting player he is and how much he has contributed to the different teams that he’s been in in the A-League.

“Especially at Wellington; that partnership he had with [Roy] Krishna is one of the best we’ve had in A-League history.

“On the field, he’s an excellent performer who has that little bit of x-factor about him and is a goalscorer and off the field, he’s a great character and a good person and senior player to have around the group.

“He is one that will help accelerate the learning of the younger players in our squad as well.”

Glory will be out to extend a five-game unbeaten run against the Mariners stretching back to March 2021, although four of those meetings have ended all-square.

Overall, the men in purple have won 11 of the 24 previous clashes between the two sides at HBF Park, with the visitors claiming maximum points on six occasions.

Alou Kuol is set to spearhead Central Coast’s attack having returned to the club following a spell in Germany with VfB Stuttgart and he will be looking to link up with Brazilian midfield schemer Tulio who contributed nine goals and four assists last term.

Match Details

Isuzu UTE 2023/24 Season Round 3

Perth Glory v Central Coast Mariners

HBF Park

Saturday 4 November 2023

Kick-off: 6.45pm

Perth Glory Squad: 1.Oli SAIL (gk), 2.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 3.Jacob MUIR, 5.Mark BEEVERS (co-c), 7.Stefan COLAKOVSKI, 9.David WILLIAMS, 10.Salim KHELIFI, 13.Cameron COOK (gk), 14.Riley WARLAND, 15.Aleksandar SUSNJAR, 17.Jarrod CARLUCCIO, 19.Trent OSTLER, 20.Giordano COLLI, 22.Adam TAGGART (co-c), 23.Daniel BENNIE, 24.Oliver BOZANIC, 27.Jayden GORMAN, 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 32.James OVERY, 77.Bruce KAMAU

*Two to be omitted

Ins: 10.Salim KHELIFI, 27.Jayden GORMAN, 32.James OVERY

Outs: 12.Luke IVANOVIC

Unavailable: 6.Aaron MCENEFF (injured), 8.Mustafa AMINI (injured), 12.Luke IVANOVIC (injured), 21.Antonis MARTIS (injured)

Central Coast Mariners squad: 2. Mikael DOKA, 3. Brian KALTAK, 4. Josh NISBET, 5. Noah SMITH, 6. Max BALARD, 7. Christian THEOHAROUS, 9. Alou KUOL, 10. Marco Tulio, 11. Angel TORRES, 14. Dylan Wenzel-HALLS, 15. Storm ROUX, 16. Harry STEELE, 18. Jacob FARRELL, 20. Danny VUKOVIC (c), 23. Dan HALL, 26. Brad TAPP, 28. Will WILSON, 33. Nathan PAULL, 40. Dylan PERAIC-CULLEN, 41. Nicholas DUARTE

Ins: Jacob FARRELL (return from suspension), Dylan PERAIC-CULLEN (promoted), Nicholas DUARTE (promoted)

Outs: Jing REEC (not selected), Miguel DI PIZIO (not selected)

Unavailable: Sasha KUZEVSKI (injured), Jack WARSHAWSKY (illness)

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