Ante Covic: “We’re in the mix now”


Perth Glory’s veteran goalkeeper Ante Covic is confident the team has established itself as a serious finals contender following the 6-3 thumping over Brisbane Roar at the weekend.

Glory extended its winning streak to five games on Saturday night, and moved to within one point of fifth place with seven rounds still to play.

Covic said the win was a huge morale boost and cemented the team as a finals contender.

“It’s five in a row now and we’re playing some fantastic football. Some of the football we played against the league leaders was a pleasure to watch,” he said.

“We’re playing with confidence and we’re in the mix now. We can be proud of ourselves, and at the moment it feels very good.”

Covic gave credit to the recent run of form to a strong January transfer period.

“The players we brought in have done a fantastic job and they brought a new energy. Someone like Andy Keogh, who’s come in is an out-and-out striker, which we were maybe lacking a little bit. We have a bit more stability in midfield. Krisztian (Vadocz) is going to keep stepping up in that defensive role. Shane Lowry has been fantastic in the centre of the backline.”

Despite the three-goal winning margin however, Covic wasn’t entirely happy with the performance.

“I don’t like goals being conceded. The win was fantastic. Scoring six goals was great but for anyone in defence if you’re happy that you still let in three you’re not really out there for exactly the right reasons. The defenders and myself, we play with pride. Just like the goalscorers love scoring the six goals, we like having clean sheets. So having three against us, it’s not great but at the end of the day we scored six and the three points are the most important thing.”

Last week coach Kenny Lowe suggested the team might be slipping under the radar. But with such an emphatic win, Covic doesn’t believe that’s still the case.

“You go back 10 weeks and we’re sitting at the bottom of the table with Adelaide. And now we’re the two teams that have been in form. We’ve had five wins on the trot. People are standing up and taking notice.

“Teams are going to be very wary of us now because we’ve been scoring goals, we’ve been solid all over the park. No one can take us for granted now.”

Covic sustained an injury to his finger during the big win, but doesn’t believe there will be any lingering effects heading into the team’s next match against table-toppers Western Sydney Wanderers.

“The finger is a little bit tender, but it’s not the first time it’s happened and it’s just part and parcel of my position and won’t affect me in any way. I’m not concerned about it whatsoever.”

Looking forward to that next match, Covic believes the team will continue to ride the confidence.

“I don’t think we can go into games anymore with fear. There are seven games left, we’ve played over two-thirds of the season. We’ve put ourselves in good position now. We know we can beat anyone on our day. We’re playing with belief and even though they’re a good side, they haven’t had the best run of late, so there’s no reason we can’t go over there and expect to get something out of it.”

Glory will aim to extend its club record winning run to six games on Friday away to Western Sydney.

Kick-off for that match is 430pm AWST.