Match Preview: Glory ‘full of belief’ ahead of Newcastle trip – Popa


Tony Popovic confirmed that confidence and spirits in the Glory camp are high as the men in purple prepare for another long away trip, this time to Newcastle Jets.


Saturday’s fixture at McDonald Jones Stadium (kick-off at 2pm WST) marks Glory’s third in a row on the road, following on from FC Tokyo and Brisbane Roar

But the Head Coach feels that his charges are coping well with the demands placed upon them by the gruelling travel schedule.

“We had a good performance in Tokyo on what was an historic day for the club and I thought we acquitted ourselves very well and represented Perth Glory in a very good manner,” he said.

“We were very proud of that performance and followed it up with what I thought was a good performance away from home, considering the travel.

“I thought we deserved to win the game; unfortunately we didn’t, but we did take a valuable point away.

“You have to manage it [fatigue] at this time of the year and we probably were a little fatigued in the last 15 minutes against Brisbane in those humid conditions on a heavy pitch.

“But that’s going to happen in the next couple of months and we’re not using at as an excuse.

“The players are recovering well now from a heavy week and we’re looking forward to a big game against Newcastle.”

The Jets have secured consecutive draws against Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory since Welshman Carl Robinson took up the coaching reins and Popovic is wary of the challenge that the Hunter Valley side will pose this weekend.

“They have a new manager and you can see that they have some new energy and intensity at the moment, so we know it’ll be a tough encounter,” he said.

“But we’re also confident in how we’re playing and full of belief that we can go there and get the result.

“The players are recovering well now from a heavy week and we’re looking forward to a big game.”

Popovic also provided a squad update ahead of the trip east.

“Juande is good,” he said. “He’s been back in training this week and will train again today.

“Osama [Malik] is a lot fitter. He’s over his injury and is starting to look himself again and the new additions have also settled in well.”

In terms of team news for the Jets, meanwhile, new signings Bernie Ibini and Joe Ledley have both been named in the hosts’ extended squad, as has marquee midfielder Wes Hoolahan who made his return from a long-term knee injury last weekend.

Glory will be out to extend a remarkable 12-game unbeaten run at McDonald Jones Stadium that stretches back to 2009 and in doing so, add to their current run of 10 Hyundai A-League matches without defeat.

The two previous meetings between the sides this term produced a 1-1 draw in Round 5 and a 6-2 win for Glory in Round 11.

Match Details

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory

McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

Kick-Off: 2:00pm (WST) (5:00pm (Local))

Referee: Adam Fielding

Assistant Referee 1: Andrej Giev

Assistant Referee 2: Matthew McOrist

Fourth Official: Kurt Ams

VAR: Kate Jacewicz

Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 4:30pm (AEDT), ABC TV (from 5:00pm (AEDT), Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers

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

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

Newcastle Jets FC Squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Bobby BURNS, 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Roy O’DONOVAN, 8.Wes HOOLAHAN, 9.Abdiel ARROYO, 10.Dimi PETRATOS, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 16.Matt MILLAR, 17.Joe LEDLEY, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 19.Kosta PETRATOS, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 21.Bernie IBINI, 28.Pat LANGLOIS, 29.Connor O’TOOLE, 32.Angus THURGATE, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY

**2-4 to be omitted**

Ins: 17.Joe LEDLEY (new signing), 21.Bernie IBINI (new signing)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (quad – 2-4 weeks), 22.Lachlan JACKSON (knee – indefinite), 40.Noah JAMES (hand – 3 months)

Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Jacob TRATT, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.James MEREDITH, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 12.Kim SOO-BEOM, 13.Osama MALIK, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 17.Diego CASTRO (c), 18.Nicholas D’AGOSTINO, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Vince LIA, 27.JUANDE, 28.Gabriel POPOVIC, 29.Kristian POPOVIC, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY

**2-4 to be omitted**

Ins: 12.Kim SOO-BEOM (promoted) 27.JUANDE (returns from injury)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 6.Dino DJULBIC (ankle – indefinite), 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS (knee – season)