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May 10, 2022   |  10:03AM AET

Match Preview – Glory aiming to defy odds again in Cup playoff

Match Preview – Glory aiming to defy odds again in Cup playoff

Glory Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich is backing his depleted squad to end the 2021/22 campaign by producing another big shift in Thursday’s Australia Cup Final Rounds Playoff against Newcastle Jets at Edgeworth’s Jack McLaughlan Oval (kick-off at 5.30pm WST).

A place in the Round of 32 awaits the winner of the one-off tie, with the draw set to take place late next month.

But while last week’s superb victory over recently-crowned Premiers Melbourne City undoubtedly further boosted spirits in the camp, Zadkovich confirmed that it took its toll on the group physically.

“We’ve got a bit of a battered squad again after the [City] game,” he said.

“It was a difficult match for us, but one where the boys worked extremely hard, so we’ve had a few bodies pull up quite sore.

“We’re back to the bare bones and could potentially have a very, very young side for what is a difficult game.

“We’ll just have to piece it altogether, get through today’s session [Tuesday] and then see how we go with the squad.

“It’s not ideal circumstances, the timing of this game and it will be difficult travelling away from home with the number of bodies we’ve got out at the moment.

“But it’s a challenge we’ll embrace with our young team and look to put in a solid performance.

“We want to win every game we play and the boys will give everything they can to try and get the result.”

The Head Coach went on to reveal that in addition to a hugely-encouraging scoreline, the City game also produced some similarly promising underlying statistics.

“The boys got what they deserved in that game, which is really important,” he said.

“I think it just adds resolve to the belief in the group and the belief is in where we’re headed and what we’re building towards next year.

“That win is fanning the fire for change and pushing everyone to be at their best.

“Some of the positives from that game, as examples, were that it was the highest output on the GPS the boys have had in the two years since we’ve had this GPS data system.

“It was the highest high-speed runs, the highest total metres; the figures were basically off the charts which means that the bare effort is there and that their work rate and mentality is there.

“For them to then get the rewards to go along with that amount of effort is a really good thing as it’s going to be the catalyst for them to start laying new benchmarks of how hard we have to work as a team and as a club to get out of this situation.

“There’s a real positive vibe within the group and the club.”

In terms of early squad news, none of the club’s long-term absentees will feature against the Jets and late decisions will be made on the inclusion or otherwise of several members of the squad which earned the victory over Melbourne City.

Thursday will mark the third Cup meeting between Glory and the Jets and the men in purple will be out to maintain a 100% record having won 2-0 in 2014 and 4-3 on penalties following a 2-2 draw a year later.

This season’s A-League clashes between the two sides, meanwhile, produced one draw and one victory for the New South Wales side.