Ready to ROAR


Glory coach Ian Ferguson has called upon his players to go back to the future ahead of the Australia Day crunch clash with Brisbane Roar.

Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson has called upon his players to go back to the future ahead of the Australia Day crunch clash with Brisbane Roar.

The men in purple produced several scintillating attacking performances during the early rounds of the campaign, notably in the wins over Melbourne Heart and Newcastle Jets and Ferguson is keen to see his side recapture that flamboyance as they attempt to force their way back into the top six of a congested ladder.

“Let’s get back to being the way we were,” he said, “being exciting, getting forward and scoring goals and try and get three points.

“We’ve been working very hard this week on one and two-touch going forward, making sure we don’t take too many touches and hold the play up.

“It’s about planting the seeds in players’ heads and giving them passages of play, that’s what we’re looking for.

“We’ve been beaten eight times by a single goal this season and we’ve been in every one of those games.

“Silly mistakes have cost us in recent weeks and now it would be nice to get a little run together.

“We’ve got some very important games coming up and none more important than this one on Saturday.”

The hosts will be forced to make several changes for this weekend’s Grand Final re-match, with Liam Miller and Josh Risdon suspended and several stars under injury clouds.

But Ferguson is confident that he has enough depth in his squad to cover those absences and get the job done.

“Whatever happens,” he said, “there’ll be other people getting an opportunity.

“That’s what the squad’s for.

“We’ve just signed Jack Clisby who’ll come into the squad to play at centre-half.

“He did a fantastic job last year in the State League and this season in the youth team, so he’s a player that could easily step up.

“And we’ve got (Steve) Pantelidis who can go easily into right-back.

“Michael (Thwaite) looks fine as well.

“He’s been training the last four or five days at a good intensity and he joined in with the rest of the group yesterday and again today, so he’s going ok.

“You always want your best players available, but these are the cards we’ve been dealt with suspensions and injuries, so we just have to get on with it.

“It’ll test the depth of the squad, but hopefully we’ll get a good result tomorrow.”

In terms of Glory’s prospects for the rest of the season, meanwhile, Ferguson insisted that although a top four finish may now be out of reach, he remains confident of securing finals football for a second successive season.

“We’ve just got to make that top six,” he said.

“The top four seems to be getting away from us and now we need to make sure that we’re still in the pack.

“There’s still a lot of points to be won and lost over the next ten games and the expectation is to get into the top six.

“It’s ironic that last season’s two Grand Finalists are sitting eighth and ninth.

“It just shows you the quality that has been brought into the league.

“More or less every game is like a cup final for us because every other team wants to beat us and it’s been the same for Brisbane.”

Ferguson also confirmed the club remains on track to complete the signing of playmaker Matias Jesus Cordoba who is due to fly in from his native Argentina on Saturday.

Saturday, January 26
nib Stadium