Ferguson stands by his SKIPPER


Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson has slammed suggestions that his side are over-physical and launched a spirited defence of skipper Jacob Burns.

Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson has slammed suggestions that his side are over-physical and launched a spirited defence of skipper Jacob Burns.

Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi had claimed that he wouldn’t allow Glory to bully his side ahead of Saturday’s clash at AAMI Park, before engaging in a verbal altercation with Burns in the tunnel area at half-time and then using his post-match interview to complain about some of the challenges made upon his players.

“At the end of the day, they all keep using this bullying word, claiming that we’re too physical and too strong,” said Ferguson.

“But again, they should go and check their facts and their stats before they make these stupid comments.

“I see he (Aloisi) said that we come in from the back and either kick you a little bit or go right through you and again, I don’t see where he’s coming from with that.

“I’m annoyed that a coach has actually come out and said that about Perth Glory.

I’m sick and tired of the hype that we get; it’s all wrong.”

Ferguson’s point is indeed reinforced by fact that Glory have collectively committed less fouls than five other Hyundai A-League clubs including Melbourne Heart.

And the coach also felt that Burns was the wronged party during both the second half incident involving Josip Tadic that earned the 34-year-old a yellow card and the sideline fracas that with Aloisi.

“I watched the free-kick where he got booked,” he said, “and the lad’s just run across him and gone down and I don’t know why he’s gone down because it just looks as if they’ve crossed each other and then Jacob gets a yellow card.

“I don’t think he deserved it.

“There are times when Jacob does something that I’ll be the first one on his back, but I didn’t think the yellow was warranted.

“Then at half-time he’s seen John Aloisi trying to influence the fourth official and Jacob wasn’t happy with that and rightly so.

“If my captain sees that and is trying to protect his players, that’s the way it should be and he (Aloisi) has got to accept that.

“He’s had his say and Jacob’s had his say and then he follows the player down the tunnel and tried to make something of it.

“Whether he’s done that deliberately to try and kick-start something, that’s something in his own head, but for me, that was definitely wrong.

“He should have gone in his own dressing room.”

Switching his attentions to other matters, Ferguson hinted that he may tinker with his attacking options in order to try and steer Glory back into the winners’ circle in week 11.

“One of the things that I’ve got to look at very closely is getting that balance right up front,” he said, “and at the moment I don’t feel that it is right.

“We’ll have a look at that and see how things progress during the week.

“We still have three sessions to get a few things sorted and there is no guarantee of a place for anyone at this club.

“If it’s not working, it’s not working.

“We’ve scored two goals in our last five games, but the positive coming out of it is that we are creating chances.”

Ferguson went on to reveal that he expects returning Socceroos Michael Thwaite and Scott Jamieson to be available for Friday night’s home clash with Newcastle and is optimistic that Liam Miller and Ryo Nagai will join them in the squad.

“Liam’s going to do a bit of rehab today and we’ll see how he comes through that,” he said.

“Hopefully we’ll have Jamo and Thwaite back and we could have Ryo back as well, which is a bit of good news.

“We’ve only been beaten once in our last 12 games at home,” he said, “so we’re still confident heading into this game.

“We’ve got to keep going.

“The game-plan is good, the boys are still confident, we’ve got some boys coming back in and we’ve got to make sure that we’re ready for Newcastle this weekend.”