Perth Glory will be eliminated from the finals series if they perform again like they did in their 3-0 loss to Gold Coast United, according to coach Ian Ferguson
Perth Glory will be eliminated from the finals series if they perform again like they did in their 3-0 loss to Gold Coast United, according to coach Ian Ferguson.
The third-placed side was dealt just thier third loss of 2012 after the home side stunned Glory with an early goal and another two late strikes.
Without injured midfield pair Jacob Burns and Liam Miller, the Glory were out played and the coach admitted he was concerned by what he saw.
"We can't play like that in the finals. We can't even play like that next week or we'll get our backsides kicked," Ferguson said.
"We've got to be a lot more mentally tough and show a bit of bottle. That's what it's going to come down to in the next game or so."
"I believe we've got the boys and the team spirit, and I don't see that changing in any way, shape or form. We go home disappointed. It's a bad day at the office. We have to regroup."
The coach felt aggrieved by a controversial early decision from referee Kris Griffiths-Jones to send off Dean Heffernan after what seemed to be a fairly routine aerial contest between the fullback and Daniel Bowles.
But the man with the whistle spotted a stray elbow from Heffernan and had no hesitation pulling out a straight red ticket - much to the surprise of the Glory bench.
"The sending off, from what I've seen - and I've not seen it from the cameras yet - but what I saw with my eyes... I don't even think the player actually challenged it, I don't think he even said anything," Ferguson added.
"The next minute there was a red card brought out. I won't know until I'll see it but I thought it was one of the softest sending offs I've ever seen."
"That puts us behind the eight ball because (earlier) we gave away a silly free kick and big Zac Anderson scores a free header."
Perth had a handful of clear-cut chances to break their way back in the game and again early in the second half, Gold Coast custodian Jerrad Tyson was able to block out close-range shots from Smeltz and winger Andrezinho.
"We hit them straight at them. He's obviously in the right place at the right time and that's the beauty of it for a goalkeeper," he said.
"They get the credit for making these saves but I felt as though either side, a yard or so we might have gotten the lucky break."