Match Preview: Glory seeking Tassie “home” comforts

Head Coach Richard Garcia feels that the Glory squad are succeeding in making their temporary Tasmanian base feel as much like Perth as possible.

Click HERE to view Garcia’s full pre-match media conference.

The men in purple will head into the second of their three ISUZU UTE A-League games in Launceston on Wednesday against Macarthur FC (kick-off at 4.55pm WST), buoyed by a victory over Brisbane Roar in their first game last weekend.

And Garcia is confident that they can make “home” advantage count by securing what would be the club’s first victory in four meetings with the Bulls.

“The guys have really got that sense that this is our home away from home and we want to pick up as many points as we can before we eventually return to Perth,” he said.

“Everyone is pretty settled here and obviously the win helps [with that].

“It’s been a nice change of scenery and I think the border reopening to WA has been a big boost to the group.

“Everyone can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“Before we knew the border was reopening, we really had the mindset of coming here and having it as a home away from home and making sure we treated the games as if we we’re at HBF [Park].

“We’d expect to win games at HBF and really be on the front foot, so we’ve tried to approach training and the games here in that manner and that’s something we’ll continue to do in these next couple of games before we head home.”

Not that Garcia is expecting anything other than a stern challenge from a Macarthur side who currently occupy fifth place in the table after securing an impressive 4-1 win over third-placed Adelaide United in their most recent outing.

“They’re a good side with plenty of attacking threats,” he said.

“They’ve spent money on some big players, so it’s going to be a tough game and coming off their result at the weekend, they’ll be pumped and we’ll need to be wary of their attacking threats.

“But really it’s about us and how we perform at home.”

In terms of team news, Garcia went on to confirm that Aaron Calver should feature in the squad despite being forced off against Brisbane by a back injury and that Daniel Sturridge is likely to see some more game-time following another appearance off the bench at the weekend.

“A few [players] here and there have a bit of fatigue, but other than that, everyone’s fantastic,” he reported.

“Calver did a fitness test in training this morning and pulled up really well, so he’ll be available for selection which is great news for the squad.

“[With Sturridge] he’s capable of 30, 35, 45 minutes; anywhere in that region.

“It’s a matter of us building him up until he’s ready to start and that’s what we’re trying to do.

“But it’s not about us just bringing Daniel on for the sake of it… it’s about the balance of the game and what we do as a squad.

“Every time he touches the ball, you think something’s going to happen.

“Maybe that’s a big expectation of him, but that’s what comes with his name and his history.

“He actually creates space for other players as well which is fantastic.
He draws a lot of attention and other people find space, so he’s a fantastic asset to have.”

The three previous meetings between the two sides have produced two draws and a win for the New South Welshmen, with Diego Castro the only Glory player to have scored in the fixture to date.

This season, Ante Milicic’s men were unbeaten in their first five games of the campaign, but then went winless for the next five before getting the better of Adelaide United last weekend.

Lachlan Rose is their leading scorer with three, while former Glory man Daniel De Silva has contributed four assists.