Match Preview: RZ draws inspiration from Arsenal ahead of Jets clash

Glory Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich revealed that he is using the improvement Mikel Arteta has wrought at EPL club Arsenal to inspire him as preparations for Saturday’s Round 2 clash with Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium continue (kick-off at 2pm WST, catch all the action on Paramount+).

Click HERE to view his pre-match media conference in full.

The visitors will be out to bounce back from last weekend’s narrow defeat against Western Sydney Wanderers, a game in which the Head Coach acknowledged that his charges did not fire on all cylinders.

But he is adamant that the performance levels of his new-look squad can and will improve.

“We’ve got some strong leaders and strong personalities in this group and a coaching staff whose belief doesn’t waver, especially mine,” he said.

“We’re only looking forward and if we continue to look forward and grow and improve, performances and results will start to come.

“When that penny drops, it starts to become momentum in our favour and the belief grows.

“I think it’s fair to say that that hasn’t quite happened with this group yet, but it will happen… and that’s when we’ll reap the rewards.

“There are plenty of those examples in world football at the moment, such as Mikel Arteta.

“He had a very torrid time at the start of his Arsenal tenure, but the more [transfer] windows he’s had and the longer he’s been in the role, the more the belief has grown and you look at them now and they’re top of the Premier League.

“That, for me, is how belief and confidence works.

“You’ve got to earn it.

“You’ve got to get through the tough times and we’ve got a strong group which I believe in whole-heartedly.”

Zadkovich went on to discuss the positives which emerged from the Wanderers game and outline exactly where he is looking to see an uplift when Glory return to action on Saturday.

“We need to improve with our ball speed, our positioning and awareness, more forward runs, opposite movements, more width at times and we need people not to be in the same channel in wide areas,” he said.

“There are many, many areas and like I keep saying, these things take time to implement.

“We have a lot of new faces and it’s going to take a little bit of time for those connections [to form].

“They’re not just tactical; they’re also emotional connections between players, learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses and understanding the natural habits and movements that players make.

“We’ve been working on that on the training pitch this week and we’ll continue to improve.

“We’re chasing an improved performance first and foremost.

“We want to be competitive like we were last week.

“We were hard to beat and were in that game which is a good foundation, but we need to lift in many areas and the focus for me is about improving at the moment.

“Individually and collectively we just weren’t at our best last week and that might be a little bit of rust and it might take a few more performances, or we might improve dramatically.

“We definitely have a lot of room for improvement and that’s what we’re focusing on.”

The Head Coach also confirmed that the Jets will represent something of an unknown quantity after their scheduled season-opener against F3 derby rivals Central Coast Mariners was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

“It’s a tricky one as it’ll be the second game we’ve gone into not having had a video to go and look at their [the opposition’s] structures and processes,” he said.

“We can only look back at previous seasons and speak to as many people as we can about the pre-season games that they’ve had.

“It makes it a difficult process as we’re not quite sure of what they’ll do, but it makes it much easier to focus on us and where we need to improve.

“That’s always the main focus for us anyway.

“It just makes it a little bit trickier to prepare tactically as we have to go in a little bit blind.

“It’s another challenge that we have to stand up to.”

Glory have traditionally enjoyed travelling to McDonald Jones Stadium, winning on 12 of 25 previous visits, although the last eight overall league meetings between the two sides have thrown up an even split of two wins apiece and four draws.

Among those in line to debut for the hosts on Saturday are former Arsenal and West Ham United defender Carl Jenkinson, Georgian midfielder Beka Dartsmelia and ex-Glory skipper, Brandon O’Neill.

Match Details

ISUZU UTE A-League 2022/23 Season Round 2

Saturday 15 October (2pm WST, 5pm Local)

Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory

McDonald Jones Stadium

Newcastle Jets: 1. Jack DUNCAN (gk), 2. Dane INGHAM, 3. Jason HOFFMAN, 4. Jordan ELSEY, 5. Matthew JURMAN (co-captain), 6. Brandon O’NEILL (co-captain), 7. Trent BUHAGIAR, 8. Beka DARTSMELIA, 9. Beka MIKELTADZE, 10. Reno PISCOPO, 11. Jaushua SOTIRIO, 14. Mohamed AL-TAAY, 17. Kosta GROZOS, 18. Daniel STYNES, 19. Callum TIMMINS, 20. Michael WEIER (gk), 23. Rory JORDAN, 24. James McGARRY, 25. Carl JENKINSON (co-captain), 30. Noah JAMES (gk), 32. Angus THURGATE, 33. Mark NATTA

Unavailable: Archie GOODWIN (international duty)

Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.John KOUTROUMBIS, 5.Mark BEEVERS, 6.Aaron MCENEFF, 7.Ryan WILLIAMS, 8.Mustafa AMINI (c), 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 10.Salim KHELIFI, 12.Luke IVANOVIC, 14.Jack CLISBY, 16.Keegan JELACIC, 18.David WILLIAMS, 19.Zach DUNCAN, 20.Giordano COLLI, 23.Mitch OXBORROW, 25.Matt HATCH, 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 30.Pierce CLARK (gk), 36.Joseph FORDE, 77.Stefan COLAKOVSKI

Ins: 16.Keegan JELACIC, 20.Giordano COLLI

Outs: None

Unavailable: 1.Brad JONES (gk) (injured), 13.Cameron COOK (gk) (injured), 21.Anthony BURKE-GILROY (injured), 22.Adrian SARDINERO (injured)