Boxing Day battle
Glory star Jamie Harnwell expects Perth’s late charge to the finals will face a Boxing Day test when they take on Adelaide at Members Equity Stadium.
Glory star Jamie Harnwell expects Perth-s late charge to the finals will face a Boxing Day test when they take on Adelaide at Members Equity Stadium.
Perth have reignited their season in recent months and confirmed their finals aspirations after thrashing Sydney 4-1 away from home to leave them just three points off the fourth-placed Central Coast Mariners and five points adrift of the table-topping Adelaide side.
A win over the Reds on Boxing Day could set up a battle for fourth between the Mariners and Perth in Gosford on New Year's Eve.
However Harnwell said the side is keeping its feet firmly on the ground and while they-ll take confidence from their terrific performance against Sydney it-s a game they-ve put aside to focus on the job at hand.
"Three points outside the top four, our home game to come, it's all there for us," said Harnwell who has worn the Captain-s armband while regular skipper Jamie Coyne has been sidelined through injury.
"It's a situation we haven't been in for a little while, so we've got to make sure we grab it with both hands now.
"If we work to the system we're playing and to our potential ... we'll certainly be competitive.
"Obviously it's going to be a massive test for us against Adelaide this week 'cause they're top of the league with still a couple of games in hand, so they've obviously proven themselves here and abroad and we're going to have to get ourselves up for that," he said.
Harnwell said the team, laden with new faces at the start of the season, has started gelling effectively over the last few months both on and off the field and believes a week spent preparing in Sydney for the match against the Sky Blues - the Glory opting to stay on the east coast after playing in Wellington the previous week - only helped boost the team's morale further.
"We always knew the ability was there, it was just a case of we keep on going and don't let ourselves fall into the silly lapses of concentration we've had earlier in the season," Harnwell said.
"The team's just been gelling a bit more ... (but) it would have been pretty sour week if we hadn't won.
"There was a few practical jokes played, a few pranks by Pedro (Adriano Pellegrino) and Rizzo (Nick Rizzo) and I think Marc Anthony actually came good with a good one, he was a dark horse.
"But it was a great week and obviously topped off with a win was fantastic."
The Glory should be boosted for the Adelaide clash by the introduction of former Holland international and Ajax midfielder Victor Sikora, who has been brought to the club as an injury replacement for Brazilian midfielder Amaral.