Big Wednesday


Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson has labeled Wednesday night’s clash with Brisbane a ‘massive, massive’ game as he looks to get his side back to winning ways.

Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson has labeled Wednesday night’s clash with Brisbane a ‘massive, massive’ game as he looks to get his side back to winning ways.

The Glory were the better side during the early stages of last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Newcastle, although the 33rd-minute dismissal of striker Billy Mehmet severely dented their chances of claiming a vital win on the road.

Instead, Ferguson is now looking to Brisbane for that much-needed first win from the last four games.

But, with the Roar having snapped their own five-match losing streak – a run that started after they set an Australian record of 36 unbeaten games through a 4-0 demolition of Glory – Ferguson knows his side has their hands full.

“It doesn’t matter when you get Brisbane,” Ferguson said.

“You’ve seen them, even with the defeats, they’ve actually still played some really good football.”

“I think they’re one-touch, two-touch and the mobility and energy that they’ve got all over the park is fantastic.”

“(So) it’s a massive game for us on Wednesday, it could put us back on track again.”

Ferguson said that 4-0 loss in late November to the Roar still stung.

“It was an embarrassing game for everyone that was involved,” he said.

“And, you know I’ve been drumming that into them this week that this is a game we need to really go out there and actually have a go rather than sitting back.”

Ferguson denied things were getting desperate for his side as they searched for that elusive victory.

“The boys as you’ve seen, they still show that commitment and effort and character, so we’ve still got that and we’ve still got the boys in the dressing room who are totally behind the coaches as well,” Ferguson said.

“We are going in the right direction and we are doing the right things.”

“I totally understand the fans’ frustration … but I think they can see now that when we are getting unfair dismissals it does put you behind the eight ball and there’s not much you can do about it.”

In terms of Mehmet’s dismissal, Ferguson welcomed the fact the red card was rescinded by the FFA match review panel, allowing the Glory to play the hulking striker, who’s scored twice in the last three games.

“I thought the man in himself (Newcastle’s Tiago Calvano) manipulated things where he’s went down as if his leg’s been blown off and (he’s) rolling about,” said Ferguson.

“It was a bit unfair obviously to Billy and everybody’s seen it and the panel’s seen it as well now and the right decision’s been made.”

Mehmet could be joined by Perth’s latest recruit Dean Heffernan, if the defender’s international clearance arrives in time for Wednesday night’s game.

Josh Mitchell will be available after a one-match suspension but Shane Smeltz (groin) and Andrezinho (hamstring) are still a few games away from resuming.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012
Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar

Venue: nib Stadium
Local kick-off: 7:00pm (10.00pm AEDT)

Referees: Chris Beath / Josh Manella / Matthew Cheeseman / David Costello

Head-to-Head: All matches (played 19): Perth Glory wins 3, Brisbane Roar wins 12 (4 draws)

Perth Glory squad:1.Danny Vukovic (Gk), 2.Josh Mitchell, 3.Bas Van Den Brink, 4.Billy Mehmet, 5.Steve Pantelidis, 7.Jacob Burns (C) 8.Adam Hughes, 10.Liam Miller, 13.Travis Dodd, 14.Steven Mcgarry, 15.Tommy Amphlett, 16.Evan Berger, 17.Todd Howarth, 18. Jesse Makarounas, 19, Josh Risdon, 21.Mile Sterjovski, 22.Adam Taggart, 25. Trent Mcclenahan, 30. Lewis Italiano (Gk)
*Three To Be Omitted*

In:2.Josh Mitchell (Returns From Suspension), 15.Tommy Amphlett (Promoted),18. Jesse Makarounas (Promoted), 25. Trent Mcclenahan (Promoted

Unavailable: 6.Chris Coyne (Achilles), 9.Shane Smeltz (Groin – 1 Week),11.Victor Sikora (Hip – Long Term Injury List), 12.Scott Neville (Knee), 20.Neil Young (Abdominal), 27.Andrezinho (Hamstring -2 Weeks)

Brisbane Roar Squad:1. Michael Theoklitos (GK), 2. Matt Smith, 3. Shane Stefanutto (Capt.), 4. Matt Jurman , 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paaratlu, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 9. Kofi Danning, 11. Issey Nakajima-Farran, 14. Rocky Visconte, 16. Mohamed Adnan, 17. Mitch Nichols, 18. Luke Brattan, 19. Jack Hingert, 20. Andrew Redmayne (GK)
*one to be omitted*

In: 9. Kofi Danning (promoted)
Unavailable: 21. James Meyer (adductor injury – 1 week), 22. Thomas Broich (heel injury – 1 week), Henrique (knee injury – 1 week)