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Jan 25, 2019   |  8:40AM AET

Match Preview – Popa: ‘We embrace the extra expectation’

Match Preview – Popa: ‘We embrace the extra expectation’

Glory Head Coach Tony Popovic has stated that his players and staff are only too happy to shoulder the extra expectation that has been placed on the club this term.

The men in purple face Newcastle Jets at nib Stadium on Sunday (kick off at 5pm) and head into the game off the back of consecutive 0-0 draws with Melbourne City and Adelaide United.

Those results have left Glory still on top of the Hyundai A-League ladder ahead of this weekend’s Round 16 fixtures and Popovic believes that his charges are relishing the additional scrutiny that inevitably accompanies their lofty position.

“It’s good to see that people have these expectations and that Perth Glory are seen in a different light now,” he said.

“We’ve created the expectation that exists and it is based on what people have seen and they’ve seen a very good team playing some very good football.

“There are always things you can do better, but overall, we’ve done well.

“We want to be that club that is challenging for honours and we don’t see the expectation as pressure; we embrace it.

“Everyone in the club is happy with where we’re at. We want more of it, but we know it can’t be done without hard work and we’ll continue on the way we’re going and look forward to another challenge on Sunday.”

The Jets, meanwhile, will be looking to build on last weekend’s victory over Central Coast in the F3 derby and maintain a decent recent record at nib Stadium which has seen them secure two victories in their last three visits.

And Popovic feels that last season’s beaten Grand Finalists are a better side than their current ladder position of seventh suggests.

“Newcastle create a lot of opportunities and that’s not a surprise when you look at the frontline that they have,” he said.

“They may feel they have fallen short of their own expectations in terms of results after doing so well last year, but if you look at their performances, a lot of them have been very good.

“We’re aware of what we’re up against, but we’re also aware of how good we are.

“We’re a strong team, so I think we can certainly play our part in a good game.”

In terms of early team news, Matt Spiranovic and Jacob Italiano could feature in Glory’s squad after being rested for the midweek draw with Adelaide, while the Jets welcome back veteran defender Jason Hoffman from suspension.

Grab your tickets for what promises to be a fascinating clash HERE.

Match Details

Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season Round 16

Perth Glory v Newcastle Jets

nib Stadium, Perth

Kick-Off: 5:00PM (Local) (8:00PM (AEDT))

Referee: Alex King

Assistant Referee 1: Josh Mannella

Assistant Referee 2: Matthew Southern

Fourth Official: Adam Fielding

VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash tag #PERvNEW

Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Jason DAVIDSON, 4.Shane LOWRY, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 9.Andy KEOGH, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 17.Diego CASTRO, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 21.Jacob ITALIANO, 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 23.Scott NEVILLE, 27.JUANDE, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 21.Jacob ITALIANO

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 16.Tomislav MRCELA (thigh – 1 week), 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS (international duty)

Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimi PETRATOS, 8.Jair, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Ronald VARGAS, 11.Mitch AUSTIN, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 14.Kaine SHEPPARD, 16.Nick COWBURN, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 24.Joe CHAMPNESS, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 3.Jason HOFFMAN (return from suspension), 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (promoted), 23.Matt RIDENTON (promoted)

Outs: 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS (scheduled medical treatment – 1 week)

Unavailable: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (groin ­­– 1 week)

#OneGlory