Match Preview: Lowe calls for front-foot approach against Hammers

Interim Glory Head Coach Kenny Lowe is backing his side to take the game to West Ham United when they face the 2023 Europa Conference League winners in Saturday’s high-profile international challenge match at Optus Stadium (kick-off at 6pm, tickets HERE).

A host of global stars are set to line up for the English Premier League outfit, while the Glory squad are just two weeks into their preparations for the 2023/24 season and also face an Australia Cup Playoff clash with Macarthur FC in Darwin on Tuesday.

Nonetheless, Lowe believes that the hosts will give an excellent account of themselves in what promises to be another memorable international challenge fixture.

View his full pre-match media conference HERE.

“I want our lads to come and play and express themselves and be free,” he said, “to put their Batman outfit on, come as a four-year-old and run around and have a ball.

“West Ham have come all this way and they don’t want to have a game where they just dominate, so we’ve got to be respectful of that and give them a game.

“We’ve got to come out and play on the front foot, be adventurous and enjoy ourselves.

“We’ve got a remit to our fans to entertain… we’re looking to play our way and really focus on ourselves and enjoy the occasion.”

Glory’s extended matchday squad is expected to feature a number of players drawn from the ranks of the PGFC Academy and Lowe is looking forward to seeing how these gifted youngsters perform.

“We’ve got a very good Academy here and we’ve got some very good young players,” he said.

“They’ll be pinching themselves… there could be some shocks and surprises on Saturday and people might see them and it could be a life-changing game for them.

“We’ve got a lot of U17, U20 and U23 internationals and they’re going to get some game time.

“Those guys are in the first two or three for the national team in their age groups and that means they’re decent.

“So if they can come and play with a little bit of a free spirit, enjoy themselves and don’t get overawed by playing against a Premier League team in front of 60,000 people, I’m sure they’ll enjoy it and show people what they can do.”

The Interim Head Coach went on to confirm that next week’s Australia Cup fixture has been a strong influencing factor in the squad’s preparations for the clash with the Hammers.

“We haven’t played [games] and have had two weeks in training,” he said, “and it’s a bit sad that we have two games so close together.

“If you’re a normally fit team and you’ve gone through the full season, to play two games in three days, you wouldn’t do it.

“We’ve got a duty of care to everyone.

“I know from my own time being here that a good Cup run, especially being here in the West, is functional for your pre-season.

“Those things are a good foundation for the season, so that’s a massive game.”

In terms of team news for Saturday, Glory’s extended squad is as follows:

West Ham, meanwhile, have named the following travelling party and went through their paces at an open training session at Macedonia Park on Thursday afternoon:

Lukasz Fabianski, Joseph Anang, Jacob Knightbridge, Jarrod Bowen, Dan Chesters, Conor Coventry, Aaron Cresswell, Flynn Downes, George Earthy, Pablo Fornals, Danny Ings, Levi Laing, Luizao, Divin Mubama, Angelo Ogbonna, Emerson Palmieri, Freddie Potts, Gianluca Scamacca, Kamarai Swyer, Kurt Zouma.