Match Preview: Epakis expects reaction in Canberra clash

Glory Liberty A-League Head Coach Alex Epakis believes that his charges will produce a positive response to last week’s first defeat of the season when they return to action against Canberra United at Wanderers Football Park on Wednesday (kick-off at 2.05pm).

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While last weekend’s 4-2 reverse at the hands of Adelaide United ended Glory’s 100% start to the campaign, Epakis feels that his side more than matched the Reds for long periods.

And he’s confident that they have what it takes to lift their overall performance level and in doing so, get back to winning ways at the expense of old rivals Canberra.

“What we saw in our assessment of the last match,” he said, “was that we had good periods of possession, we had more possession than the opposition and more importantly, we had that possession in better areas of the field than we did in the first two games of the season.

“So that is positive, but now it’s just doing it for longer, taking our chances through that effective possession more often and tidying up the pressure that we’re creating on ourselves with cheap turnovers, cheap corners and throw-ins.

“We may make a few changes, but I feel that this game [v Adelaide] was a really good learning curve and I want to give the majority of those players the opportunity to learn from the game that happened and I know that they’ll put it right in the next match.

“I’m expecting a game that we have to win.

“We have to perform and do what we need to do better and I’m not too worried about what Canberra is or isn’t doing, because if we do our job well enough, we should win that match.”

Epakis went on to confirm that skipper Natasha Rigby will be available to face United despite having her nose broken by a wayward elbow from Adelaide’s Fiona Worts in Glory’s last outing and that Lisa De Vanna is also set to come into the selection mix.

The only confirmed absentee for Glory will again be Demi Koulizakis, although the versatile forward is ahead of schedule in her recovery from a knee injury and has consequently joined the rest of the squad in Sydney.

“I’ve got to get the balance right because we have three games in seven days,” said Epakis.

“Everyone will be available for this game with the exception of Demi, including Lisa [De Vanna].

“There will be squad turnover and rotation at some stage, whether that’s on Wednesday or on Saturday against Sydney FC, I’m not sure.”

Canberra head into the game looking for a first win of the campaign having lost two and drawn one of their opening three fixtures, but they have been something of a bogey team for Glory over the years, losing just two of the 23 previous meetings between the two sides.