Match Preview – “We’ve got a lot of improving to do” – Garcia

Glory v Adelaide United 2021 - Nick D'Agostino on the run

Richard Garcia believes that his Glory side are yet to even come close to fulfilling their potential.


The men in purple will head into Friday’s clash with Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium (kick-off at 4.05pm WST) looking to secure a third win of the season despite having had to play four games, three of them away, in the space of just 11 days.

But while happy with the way his charges have reacted to the gruelling schedule, the Head Coach feels that the best is very much still to come.

“We’ve got a lot of improving to do,” he said.

“We’re still in our infancy and are nowhere near where we need to be as a team.

“But the good thing is that we’re playing as a team and getting results off the back of that.

“We’ve got a lot of improving to do not only in attack, but also in defence.

“This will be another game in which to grow as a group and make sure that we’re heading in the right direction.”

The squad have at least had a longer recovery period since defeating Melbourne City on Sunday and Garcia was quick to praise the club’s physio and strength and conditioning staff for the role they have played in helping the players maintain their performance levels.

“The lads have had more time to rest which is good, but now it’s a cumulative fatigue,” he said.

“Playing games back to back to back, it takes a little bit longer to recover, but the medical staff and physical team have done a fantastic job of trying to keep the players in a good state of well-being in terms of not only bodies, but minds as well.

“It’s a huge credit to them that they’ve kept the guys as fresh as they can be in this hard period.”

Garcia went on to confirm that Andy Keogh is poised to return to the selection frame on Friday having missed the Melbourne City game through injury and that the presence of the former Ireland international will significantly bolster Glory’s already prolific attack.

“Andy had a bit of a tight glute and rather than take a risk, we erred on the side of caution,” he explained.

“He’s firing now and ready to go.

“It’s good to have options.

“It’s something we’ve been a bit light on at times.

“We want two good players for every position and that’s slowly, slowly coming.

“The more the young guys start to prove themselves and with the players that will be coming into the squad as well, it’ll put us in a place where we will have real competition for places.

“That’s fantastic to have… you want players to be challenged by each other.

“The players are taking every challenge on board.

“Whether they start or come off the bench, they’re looking sharp and ready to go.

“It’s not just about the guys who start, it’s about the guys who come on and affect the game.

“That’s a big thing for us – everyone knows their role and is prepared to come on and affect the game.”

Glory will be looking for a second victory over the Reds this term having downed Carl Veart’s men 5-3 at HBF Park in last month’s thrilling season-opener.

From their 23 previous visits to Coopers Stadium, the WA side have secured seven wins and they have not been beaten at the South Australian venue since February 2018.

Since losing at HBF Park, the Reds have defeated Melbourne Victory and lost to Brisbane Roar, leaving them in fifth spot on the ladder, one point and one place above Glory.

Match Details

Friday, 5 February 2021

Adelaide United v Perth Glory

Coopers Stadium, Adelaide

Kick-Off: 4:05pm (WST)(6.35pm (Local))

Referee: Adam Kersey

Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream

Assistant Referee 2: Nathan MacDonald

Fourth Official: Daniel Cook

VAR: Alex King

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 4:00pm (WST), Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers

Radio Broadcast: myfootballnation.com (FIVEaa)

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #ADLvPER

To purchase tickets visit www.a-league.com.au/tickets  

Adelaide United squad: 1.James DELIANOV (gk), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.George TIMOTHEOU, 6.Louis D’ARRIGO, 8.Stefan MAUK (c), 9.Tomi JURIC, 15.Noah SMITH, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 17.Mohamed TOURE, 18.Joe CALETTI, 19.Yaya DUKULY, 21.Javi LÓPEZ, 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 24.Pacifique NIYONGABIRE, 26.Ben HALLORAN, 29.Kusini YENGI, 34.Yared ABETEW, 35.Al Hassan TOURE, 46.Joe GAUCI (gk)

**2-4 to be omitted**

 Ins: 3.George TIMOTHEOU (promoted), 9.Tomi JURIC (returns from injury), 21.Javi LÓPEZ (returns from injury), 24.Pacifique NIYONGABIRE (promoted)

Outs: 7.Ryan KITTO (knee)

Unavailable: 4.Ryan STRAIN (groin)

Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (GK),  5.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 10.Andy KEOGH, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Nick SULLIVAN, 17.Diego CASTRO (C), 18.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 19.Callum TIMMINS, 20.Carlo ARMIENTO, 21.Bryce BAFFORD, 22.Josh RAWLINS, 23.Dane INGHAM, 24.Daniel STYNES, 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 33.Liam REDDY (GK), 34.Mason TATAFU, 37.Riley WARLAND, 88.Neil KILKENNY

** 1-3 to be omitted**

 Ins: 10.Andy KEOGH (returns from injury), 37.Riley WARLAND (returns from injury)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 6.Osama MALIK (shoulder 2 weeks), 7.Chris IKONOMIDIS (knee – 3-4 weeks)