BIG crowd for Patersons Stadium


Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson has called upon the club’s supporters to roar their side to victory in Thursday’s festive blockbuster against Western Sydney Wanderers.

Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson has called upon the club’s supporters to roar their side to victory in Thursday’s festive blockbuster against Western Sydney Wanderers.

A bumper crowd is expected at Patersons Stadium for the showdown with the in-form new boys and Ferguson is urging the home fans to re-create the kind of atmosphere that helped inspire the men in purple to down Brisbane Roar at the same venue on the opening day of the season.

“When we played Brisbane here, I thought the crowd that day was immense,” he said. “They were singing and dancing and the amount of people that were here made it a really special occasion.

“I hope they come back again and get behind us, because they are really important in driving the boys on.

“I know it’s an old cliché, but they really are our 12th man and have a really important role to play.

“When I hear them shouting from the sidelines it give me a buzz to know that they are behind us and it’s even more of a boost for the boys out on the park.”

The Wanderers will of course head to Patersons off the back of a remarkable 6-1 thumping of Adelaide, a result that impressed but did not particularly surprise the man attempting to plot the Sydneysiders’ downfall on Thursday.

“They are a team that has made a lot of progress over the last nine or ten games,” said Ferguson.

“They create a lot of chances and are very well organised.

“I thought it was only a matter of time before the goals started flowing for them because they’ve got good players in (Shinji) Ono, (Youssouf) Hersi and (Dino) Kresinger.

“They are a very strong and powerful side who are quick on the counter-attack and Mark Bridge is on fire at the moment as well, so it’s going to be a very tough game.

“But we’re looking forward to it.

“We’re coming off the back of two good results ourselves and we’re back at home, which is great and our confidence should be sky high.”

The second of those two good results for the home side came at Suncorp Stadium last weekend and while not completely satisfied by his charges’ overall performance in the 1-0 win over the reigning champions, Ferguson was certainly delighted by the character they showed.

“We knew ourselves that we could have put a bit more pressure on Brisbane,” he said, “but the humidity was something that we’ve not experienced this year and again, great credit to the players in how they showed that steely determination to make it difficult for the opposition.

“I felt we could have held the ball a little better at times and if there was one criticism, that would be it, but the effort they put in and not only that, the desperation they’ve shown to win that game, was really pleasing.

“That’s the best I’ve seen from a Perth Glory side in defending for at least 20 or 25 minutes in the second-half.

“I thought for the first-half and the first ten minutes of the second we were really good and then they just put the pressure on us, but we dug deep and hung in there.

“There have been times this season when we’ve done really well in games and come away with no points, so to get three points at Suncorp for the first time since I’ve been at the club was really pleasing.”

In terms of Thursday’s vital clash, meanwhile, Ferguson has admitted that he may make a couple of changes in a bid to help his squad cope with the rigours of what is a demanding festive schedule.

“We’re considering freshening things up,” he said.

“It’s going to be a very tough period with three games within ten days or so, so we’re going to have to use our squad and we’ll look to do that this week.”