Bobby Despotovski has urged his charges to be more creative and clinical in the final third ahead of Sunday’s away clash with high-flying Western Sydney Wanderers (kick-off at 1pm WST).
The Westfield W-League Round 10 fixture is part of a double-header at Bankwest Stadium, with the respective clubs’ Hyundai A-League teams in action later in the day.
And Despotovski, who does, of course, know a thing or two about scoring having bagged a Glory club record 129 goals during his playing days, confirmed that the search for greater potency going forward has formed a major part of his side’s preparations for the showdown with the red-and-blacks.
“We are working on scoring more goals,” he said, “so the primary focus has been predominantly on creating more chances and converting more chances.
“We do create chances, but our conversion rate is not as good as it has been in the last three or four years.
“We have a couple of new strikers and are a work in progress and everyone is working really hard to get us to where we want to be.”
The women in purple will be up against a Wanderers side which has lost just once this season and Despotovski is expecting the hosts, who are managed by former Glory utility-man Dean Heffernan, to provide a stern test.
“Western Sydney are one of the strongest teams in the league and it’s going to be a very hard game,” he said, “but our focus will be to play our own brand of football.
“Players usually lift when they’re playing against top teams and I’m expecting our girls to be at 150%.
“We know that if we give them [Western Sydney Wanderers] a sniff, they are going to score, so we need to limit their opportunities and try and create a goal or two ourselves.”
Following Sunday’s game, Glory are next in action at Newcastle on Thursday and will therefore be staying over in New South Wales, a move which Despotovski feels is essential given the tough scheduling.
“With the normal travel arrangements, we’d have travelled back on Monday, had recovery on Tuesday and then on Wednesday we’d have been back on the ‘plane,” he said.
“So we’ll stay over and that will minimise the impact on the girls’ bodies.
“It’ll be good to have the extra time together.
“Morale [in the group] is as high as ever and the simple reason for that is we have been playing some good football, the girls believe in the process that we’re putting in place and they have been working extra hard.”
The historical omens for Glory are good, with the WA side claiming all three points on four of their six previous visits to Western Sydney and scoring a total of 17 goals in that quartet of victories.
This season, however, Wanderers boast the second-tightest defence in the competition having shipped only seven goals and kept three clean sheets.
In terms of early team news, Glory have no fresh injuries to report, while Wanderers will again be without regular first-choice goalkeeper Jada Whyman who has been sidelined by a knee injury and it appears unlikely that Lynn Williams will return from international duty with the USA in time to feature.
Sunday, 19 January 2020
Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Perth Glory
Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta
Kick-Off: 1:00pm (WST)( 4:00pm (Local)
Referee: Isabella Libri
Assistant Referee 1: Sarah Ho
Assistant Referee 2: Lauren Hargrave
Fourth Official: Georgia Ghirardello
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 4:00pm (AEDT), ABC TV from 4:00pm (AEDT), 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 #WSWvPER
To purchase tickets visit www.w-league.com.au/tickets
Western Sydney Wanderers FC : 2.Alix ROBERTS, 3.Sam STAAB, 4.Caitlin COOPER, 5.Courtney NEVIN, 6.Denise O’SULLIVAN, 7.Amy HARRISON, 8.Erica HALLOWAY, 9.Lynn WILLIAMS, 10.Kyra COONEY-CROSS, 11.Cortnee VINE, 15.Alex HUYNH, 16.Liana DANASKOS, 20.Vesna MILIVOJEVIC, 21.Ella MASTRANTONIO, 23.Kristen HAMILTON, 25.Sophie MAGUS (GK), 30.Courtney NEWBON (GK)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Alix ROBERTS (promoted), 9.Lynn WILLIAMS (returns from international duty), 25.Sophie MAGUS (promoted)
Outs: 1.Abby SMITH (knee)
Unavailable: 40.Jada WHYMAN (knee)
Perth Glory squad: 1.Eliza CAMPBELL (gk), 3.Kim CARROLL, 4.Ayesha NORRIE, 5.Shannon MAY, 6.Arianna ROMERO, 7.CELIA, 8.Morgan ANDREWS, 9.Crystal THOMAS, 10.Julia SARDO, 11.Leticia MCKENNA, 14.Caitlin DOEGLAS, 16.Isabella WALLHEAD, 19.Hana LOWRY, 21.Morgan AQUINO (gk), 24.Natasha RIGBY (c), 28.Katarina JUKIC
**one to be omitted**
Ins: 10.Julia SARDO (promoted)