Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell is anticipating a stormy reception when his side takes on a North Queensland outfit on Friday night that will still be hurting badly following last weekend’s big loss to Sydney.
Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell is anticipating a stormy evening when his side takes on a North Queensland outfit on Friday night that will still be hurting badly following last weekend’s big loss to Sydney.
While Glory will be missing key defender Chris Coyne (back) and striker Branko Jelic (ankle) Mitchell believes his replacements can do the job and atone for the club’s Round 12 loss to the Fury at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
Mitchell has brought Scott Bulloch back into the side following a two-week absence with a thigh injury, along with speedy defender Jimmy Downey, who hasn’t played this season after suffering a knee injury over the winter. Young midfielder Andrija Jukic also comes into the squad.
Jelic’s possible absence for the next fortnight will force the coach to alter his structure in the forward third, but regardless of who comes into the starting line-up Mitchell has impressed on all his squad the need to ‘stake their claim’ for selection. The Coach adamant that by doing so his side can overcome a fired-up Fury and start turning their own four-match unbeaten run, that’s featured three draws, into even more positive results.
“North Queensland had a bad result last week and I know Fergie is (Coach Ian Ferguson) pretty fired up to get them out and playing against us,” Mitchell said.
“They’ll be confident because they beat us last time, but we want to make sure we rectify that and get the three points.
“There’s a few players (coming back) that have been champing at the bit to get back involved and it’s a situation where there’s a lot of competition for places and these guys are coming back in so it’s good for the team.
“Last time we played them up there, it was a very even game,” Mitchell added referring to the Glory’s 2-1 loss Round 12 loss in North Queensland.
“We got our noses in front and then it was a silly mistake (that let them back in). We let ourselves down and hopefully lightning doesn’t strike twice and if it does, they’ll certainly be getting my thunder that’s for sure,” he said.
Although Perth boasts an impressive defensive record this term, having conceded just 19 goals, and only two over the last four matches, Mitchell knows his side needs to be more clinical up front after having seen them waste numerous attacks in last week’s 1-1 draw with Brisbane.
“It was disappointing last week. I think we sort of dominated the game had a lot of possession, just couldn’t get the final thrust,” he said.
“In the final third our crossing has got to be a bit better and our finishing’s got to be a bit better.”
“So from our point of view, were doing very well in defence and through midfield but we just want to make sure we get a bit more thrust and a better ball into that forward area and retain it and then make the chances from that.”