Match Preview: Popa confident of improvement from rested Glory


Tony Popovic is backing his Glory charges to show further improvement in Thursday’s clash with sixth-placed Adelaide United at Bankwest Stadium (kick-off at 5.30pm WST).


The men in purple suffered their first defeat since the Hyundai A-League season restarted when they were edged out by Wellington Phoenix last midweek.

But the Head Coach drew plenty of positives from his side’s performance that night and having had eight days to recover and prepare to meet the Reds, he’s expecting a strong response from his players.

“We’re pleased with how our football’s progressing,” he said.

“We didn’t get the result against Wellington, but I felt that overall, our performance was better than it was against Central Coast.

“I certainly envisage that we’ll be better again against Adelaide.

“We didn’t have a lot of training prior to arriving in Sydney and had players that had to isolate for two weeks coming into Perth which put them behind the rest of the group.

“So it [the extended gap between games] has given us an opportunity for some players to do extra work to get up to speed and I think everyone’s benefited from it.

“At the moment, everyone is fit and available and some valuable training has been added in this week we’ve had without a game.

“We’re very happy with the training that we’ve done and are looking forward to the game.

“I believe we’ll improve again and produce a better performance.”

Adelaide will head into the game having secured four point from their two games since the restart and Popovic feels that they have improved under the guidance of new interim Head Coach, Carl Veart.

“The difference is probably in their defensive structure,” he said.

“They’ve always been a dangerous side going forward, but they’re now playing a lot more in transition, with a lot more forward passes in behind the defence.

“They’re all getting behind the ball and having a good defensive structure in their own half, making it hard for teams to get opportunities.

“That’s been a significant difference.

“I’m sure they’ll have some confidence from their last two matches and we’re prepared for a tough game.”

In terms of hub life in general, meanwhile, Popovic feels that the players and staff have adapted well.

“It’s becoming normality now,” he said.

“We seem to all be settled, have accepted the situation that we’re in and become accustomed to it.

“Spirits are good and we’re monitoring players and staff regularly to make sure everyone is in a good frame of mind.

“We’ve been pleased with their application in training and demeanour around the hotel.

“Obviously everyone’s trying to occupy themselves and we’re trying to help in any way we can.

“We’re leaving the players to themselves as much as we can so that they don’t feel the coaches are overbearing.

“It’s a constant balancing act.

“We know what we’re here for but we need everyone to enjoy this time and the prospect of both playing good football and each other’s company.

“That’s certainly an important aspect.”

Glory will be out to extend a run of five games unbeaten against the Reds on Thursday and their cause has been helped by the absence of any fresh injury concerns.

A win for the WA side would see them climb above Brisbane Roar into fourth place, if the Queenslanders fail to pick up any points in their Wednesday night fixture against Melbourne Victory.

If Adelaide were to prevail, meanwhile, they would join Glory on 34 points.

Match Details

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Adelaide United v Perth Glory

Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta

Kick-Off: 5:30pm (Local) (7:30pm (Local))

Referee: Stephen Lucas

Assistant Referee 1: James Cleal

Assistant Referee 2: Brad Wright

Fourth Official: Ben Abraham

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 507 from 5:30pm (WST) and Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers

Radio Broadcast: myfootballnation.com (SEN SA).

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

Adelaide United squad: 2.Michael MARRONE, 4.Ryan STRAIN, 6.Stefan MAUK, 7.Ryan KITTO, 8.Riley McGREE, 11.Kristian OPSETH, 14.George BLACKWOOD, 18.Lachlan BROOK, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN (c), 23.Jordan ELSEY, 24.Pacifique NIYONGABIRE, 26.Ben HALLORAN, 27.Louis D’ARRIGO, 34.Yared ABETEW, 36.Noah SMITH, 40.Dakota OCHSENHAM (gk), 41.Jackson WALLS, 42.Taras GOMULKA, 49.Mohamed TOURE

**2-4 to be omitted**

Ins: 34.Yared Abetew (promoted), 41.Jackson WALLS (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 10.James TROISI (knee), 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS (knee – season), 17.Nikola MILEUSNIĆ (foot), 29.Kusini YENGI (pelvis), 35.Al Hassan TOURE (hamstring)

Perth Glory squad: 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Jacob TRATT, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.James MEREDITH, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 13.Osama MALIK, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 18.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Vince LIA, 23.Dane INGHAM, 25.Carlo ARMIENTO, 27.JUANDE, 28.Gabriel POPOVIC, 29.Kristian POPOVIC, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 50.Daniel MARGUSH (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY (C)

**2-4 omitted**

Ins: 21.Tarek ELRICH (promoted), 25.Carlo ARMIENTO (promoted)

Outs: None

Unavailable: None