Friday night showdown against A-League heavyweights

Perth Glory interim coach Ian Ferguson has refused to buy into suggestions this could be a good time to be coming up against league leader Brisbane Roar.

Perth Glory interim coach Ian Ferguson has refused to buy into suggestions this could be a good time to be coming up against league leader Brisbane Roar.

Ange Postecoglou’s men all but put their hand on the Premiers Plate when they accounted for second-placed Adelaide United 1-0 last weekend, giving them an 11-point break over the Reds at the top of the Hyundai A-League table with just six games remaining.

The Roar will be missing skipper Matt McKay (national duty) and defender Ivan Franjic (quad) for this game, although star German import Thomas Broich has recovered from a groin problem and will play.

But aside from the injuries, some media reports have suggested Brisbane may suffer something of a psychological let down after all-but claiming top spot on the table.

Ferguson, though, won’t have a bar of this, saying he expects the Roar to be just as tough to beat in Friday night’s encounter at Suncorp Stadium as they have been in any of their previous 19 unbeaten matches.

“I don’t read all that nonsense,” declared Ferguson.

“Just ’cause they’ve got one or two players out, they’ve got quality players to come in.”

“They’re still a quality side and they’re going to cause you danger, they’re going to cause you problems.”

“Matt McKay, don’t get me wrong, he does bring that energy to them and the mobility to them in their midfield but they’ve still got the boy Mitch Nichols who can be creative and he gets forward and he’s an awful handful.”

“They’re going to bring quality to it and you can never say you’re getting Brisbane at a good time.”

The Glory have been in reasonable form of late, having lost just one of their last five games, while also thumping Adelaide 4-2.

Having seen his side produce just their fourth clean sheet of the season in a hard-fought 0-0 draw with Gold Coast on Monday night, Ferguson said his 10th-placed team would go into the match with some belief they can cause one of the competition’s great upsets.

But, with conditions expected to be hot and humid once again, he cautioned his side against an all-out attack.

“They create a lot of chances and get a lot of the ball and are patient,” Ferguson said.

“That’s what we’ve got to be tomorrow, we’ve got to be patient, we can’t keep going 100 miles an hour.”

“(We’ve got to) put the foot on the ball and reserve our energies and be patient and clever, be a wee bit more composed rather than just punting the ball up the park at times.”

“We’ve had the clean sheet, we’ve got a point and we’ve got to continue now and hopefully cause Brisbane some problems as well.”

Ferguson said he expects defenders Andy Todd (cork) and Josh Mitchell (calf) to play, although Naum Sekulovski could miss at least three games with a medial ligament injury to his knee.

The coach added that he would not risk Chris Coyne’s Achilles injury getting worse by flying him over just for this game and he hopes to have the former Qantas Socceroo available for the following week’s clash with Melbourne Heart.