Match Preview – “Our boys are buzzing to play” – Garcia

Head Coach Richard Garcia is adamant that his charges are desperate to get back into competitive action in Wednesday’s ISUZU UTE A-League clash with Western Sydney Wanderers (kick-off at 4.45pm WST).

Click HERE to view his full media conference.

The Glory squad will have gone ten days without a game when they take to the field at COMMBank Stadium, during which time, a number of players have been laid low by COVID-19.

But despite the fact that his selection options will be severely impacted as a result, Garcia remains extremely upbeat about taking on the red-and-blacks.

“It’s actually quite exciting,” he said.

“We’re just so eager to go out there and play football.

“It’s been such a stop-start season that we’re looking for a bit of continuity, that way we can find our feet and go on a run.

“You can’t play two games and stop for a week-and-a-half and have another two or three games in a row and then stop again.

“Staff as well as players are eager to get back out there and have that feeling of game day as many times as we can.”

Garcia confirmed that skipper Brandon O’Neill, strikers Bruno Fornaroli and Daniel Sturridge, midfielder Mitch Oxborrow and defender Jack Clisby will all be unavailable on Wednesday, meaning Andy Keogh can expect a hard shift leading the line in what will be his 149th A-League appearance for the club.

“Andy is going to have to probably push himself to the extreme tomorrow,” he said.

“We’ve got a few guys that will be on the bench ready to come on and give him a break, but we’ll just tell him to go as hard as he can for as long as he can and then we’ll make that decision.

“He’s going to have to really push himself because he hasn’t had a lot of game time and is still building up that resilience.”

Glory will face a Western Sydney side led by Mark Rudan for the first time after the former Western United coach replaced the sacked Carl Robinson earlier this week.

And Garcia admitted that he has factored the appointment into his tactical preparations for the game.

“We’ve worked on both what they already had this season and what Rudes played at Western United,” he said.

“Whether he changes it up or not is another thing altogether.

“I don’t think he’ll change a lot because he hasn’t had a lot of time.

“They [Western Sydney] have got a very talented squad which is very deep.

“They’ve put a lot of money towards a lot of big players, so it’s really about making those players tick.

“It’s going to be a tough game, but our boys are one, buzzing to play and two, looking forward to the challenge.”

Wanderers head into the game off the back of a 3-0 defeat against Brisbane Roar which extended their winless run to four matches and left them sitting 11th in the table.

Glory’s recent record against the NSW side, meanwhile, is an impressive one, with the men in purple having lost just one of the last ten meetings between the two clubs.

Last season, Wanderers ran out 3-0 winners in Round 13 before Glory turned on the style to avenge that defeat with a 5-1 triumph in Round 21, Andy Keogh scoring four of the goals.