ALW Match Preview: Focused Glory ready to make it four from four

Glory Liberty A-League Head Coach Alex Epakis believes that his charges are in exactly the right frame of mind to maintain their 100% start to the season at the expense of Adelaide United on Saturday (kick-off at Macedonia Park is at 7pm, tickets available HERE).

View his full pre-match media conference HERE.

The women in purple have won just one of their last ten meetings with the Reds, but ended a similarly disappointing run of results by securing a first ever away victory over Canberra United last time out.

And Epakis feels that during their pre-match preparations this week, they have struck exactly the right balance in terms of their confidence and concentration levels.

“The team is pleased with where we’re currently sitting,” he said.

“They’re pleased with the level of performance that we’re executing and actioning, but the reality is that we’re also focused on the upcoming fixture and I think that’s a really good place to be.

“The players took that on [winning away at Canberra] as a personal objective.

“They wanted to make sure that they were part of the first Perth Glory team ever to go over there and win a game and it was a nice side-story, but the main thing for us was the three points and another opportunity to perform against a competitive team.

“We’ve done extremely well not to concede from open play yet and that’s a collective effort.

“We speak a lot about defensive structure and being really eager to try and make sure that defending is a collective mindset and not just on the back four and the ‘keeper.

“We’re benefitting from that right now.

“We would have liked a bit more control after we scored that 3-2 goal, but sometimes in a game you get tested in different ways and ours was to make sure we were resolute and structured and confident in not having the ball at times.”

Adelaide will head across the border still searching for their first win of the season having drawn with Canberra before losing to Central Coast and Melbourne Victory, but Epakis remains wary of the threat Adrian Stenta’s side will pose.

“Adelaide are a good team and they have some high-quality attacking players and some experience throughout the squad,” he said.

“I know they’ll come here and be really focused on getting three points and we have to make sure that we’re ready to match that energy.

“I think that now we have the experience and the quality to win those really important moments in the battle and I think we’ll see that at the weekend.

“I’m really looking forward to the match because every time we play against them, it’s top quality and it’s another great test for us.”

In terms of team news, meanwhile, the Head Coach went on to confirm that he has no fresh injury concerns to contend with and that attacking midfielder Quinley Quezada could be set to return to the matchday squad.

“We have a full squad,” he said.

“Quinley had a quick turnaround from those Philippines games and was also carrying a bit of a soft tissue injury into that camp.

“We could certainly have used her in Canberra, but I thought that whilst she was available, I didn’t want to take the risk.

“We’ll be rewarded for that over the next couple of weeks as she’s extremely fresh and firing and ready to contribute.”

Having experienced playing in front of a record ALW crowd at McKellar Park last weekend, Epakis is hoping that the Glory faithful will provide a similar level of support on Saturday night.

“It’s pretty significant, the role that they can play,” he said.

“The first game we had at Macedonia Park this season, we really felt the energy that the crowd provided and we really buzz off that.

“I know that playing at McKellar [Park] last week up against 2000 Canberra supporters, it wasn’t easy, so we’re really hoping that our Members and supporters can get behind us this weekend.

“I always say that they’ll be treated to an exciting 90-minute performance and I stand by that and hope that if they make the effort, they can really enjoy what it is we put out on the pitch.”

The visitors are set to include ex-Glory duo Alana Jancevski and Hannah Blake in their ranks, both of whom have found the net for their new club in the opening three rounds.

US import Mariah Lee will also pose a threat in the final third, but the Reds will be without injured trio Emilia Murray, Emily Condon and Katie Bowler.

Match Details

Liberty A-League 2023/24 Season Round 4

Perth Glory v Adelaide United

Macedonia Park

Saturday 11 November 2023

Kick-off: 7pm WST

Perth Glory squad: 1.Morgan AQUINO (GK), 3.Jessika COWART, 4.Natasha RIGBY (c), 7.Liz ANTON, 8.Hana LOWRY, 9.Millie FARROW, 10.Susan PHONSONGKHAM, 11.Grace JALE, 12.Sofia SAKALIS, 13.Sarah CAIN, 14.Tia STONEHILL, 17.Abbey GREEN, 18.Sadie LAWRENCE, 19.Izzy FOLETTA, 20.Quinley QUEZADA, 22.Claudia MIHOCIC, 23.Isobel DALTON, 24.Sally JAMES (GK), 25.Grace JOHNSTON, 27.Georgia CASSIDY

Four to be omitted

Ins: 17.Abbey GREEN, 18.Sadie LAWRENCE, 19.Izzy FOLETTA, 20.Quinley QUEZADA

Outs: None

Unavailable: 16.Isabella WALLHEAD (injured)

Adelaide United squad: 1. Annalee GROVE (gk), 2. Emily HODGSON, 4. Erin KONTOUTSIKOS, 5. Sarah MORGAN, 6. Hannah BLAKE, 7. Mariah LEE, 9. Rosetta TAYLOR, 11. Isabel HODGSON (c), 12. Nanako SASAKI, 13. Ella TONKIN, 14. Jenna HOLTZ, 16. Dylan HOLMES (c), 17. Zoe TOLLAND, 18. Annabel HAFFENDEN, 19. Maruschka WALDUS, 21. Claudia JENKINS (gk), 23. Alana JANČEVSKI, 26. Grace WILSON (gk), 28. Chrissy PANAGARIS, 32. Madeleine WRIGHT

Ins: 12. Nanako SASAKI, 26. Grace WILSON, 28. Chrissy PANAGARIS, 32. Madeleine WRIGHT

Outs: 22. Emilia MURRAY (ankle)

Unavailable: 8. Emily CONDON (hip), 15. Katie BOWLER (foot), 22. Emilia MURRAY (ankle)

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