Head Coach Alex Epakis is expecting Liberty A-League heavyweights Melbourne City to pose a number of different challenges for his charges in Tuesday’s Round 7 clash at AAMI Park (kick-off now at a new changed time 5.15pm WST, 8.15pm Local Time).
The women in purple will head east buoyed by a gutsy performance over Canberra United last time out when they overturned a 2-0 deficit to secure a thrilling 3-2 win.
But Epakis believes they will need to show further improvement in a number of areas to get the better of a City side currently occupying third spot in the table having won three of their four games.
“A lot of players grew in confidence in themselves [in the win over Canberra] more than anything,” he said.
“That type of result was very similar to some of the results we had last year and to the way we won games last year.
“So we know that we’re capable of those gritty types of performances when it doesn’t look like things are going for us.
“The reality is that we have a different kind of test in this upcoming match and we have to be better as well.
“Hopefully we can manage our performances from minute one to minute 90 and make it a little bit easier on ourselves.
“They’re a very strong outfit as they have traditionally been for a number of seasons now.
“They’re very athletic and dynamic and we have to match that aspect of the game and be really good and really disciplined for 90 minutes, especially when we don’t have the ball and in the transition moments.
“With the ball, we’re as good as anyone and if we manage those other moments, we give ourselves a really strong chance.”
The squad will have had more than a week to recover from the Canberra game by the time they run out at AAMI Park and Epakis is hopeful his players will benefit from the extra time ahead of a challenging January fixture list.
“We know that it’s an important period coming up,” he said.
“We’ve got two games in quick succession after this little break in our schedule and we want to make sure that we start of the run of games over the festive period with a good level of intent and intensity, building on the momentum from our last performance.
“When you have a result like that and the the way in which we won it as well, the tired bodies and the knocks and niggles, they’re easier to manage than they are after a loss or a disappointing performance.
“The team is in very good spirits and there’s been a really good energy and buzz around the group this week and it’s been great to be a part of it.”
Glory have won three of their previous 11 games against City, with the most recent of those coming in November 2018 when Sam Kerr and Alyssa Mautz both bagged a brace in a spectacular 5-2 rout at HBF Park.
The hosts face Canberra United at McKellar Park today [Friday] knowing that a win would take them top of the table.
Liberty A-League 2022/23 Season Round 7
Melbourne City v Perth Glory
Tuesday 27 December 2022
Kick-off: 5.15pm WST (8.15pm Local)
TV Coverage: Live on 10PLAY and Paramount+
Perth Glory Squad: 1.Morgan AQUINO (gk), 3.Kim CARROLL, 4.Natasha RIGBY (c), 6.Tijan MCKENNA, 7.Liz ANTON, 8.Hana LOWRY, 9.Demi KOULIZAKIS, 10.Susan PHONSONGKHAM, 11.Rylee BAISDEN, 12.Sofia SAKALIS, 13.Sarah CAIN, 15.Cyera HINTZEN, 16.Isabella WALLHEAD, 17.Abbey GREEN, 18.Sadie LAWRENCE, 20.Sarah LANGMAN (gk), 21.Ella MASTRANTONIO, 22.Claudia MIHOCIC, 23.Alana JANCEVSKI, 42.Gabriella COLEMAN
Ins: 6.Tijan MCKENNA, 13.Sarah CAIN, 16.Isabella WALLHEAD, 22.Claudia MIHOCIC
Unavailable: 24.Milan HAMMOND (injured)