Ferguson: "We want to go higher"

Ian Ferguson says it's vital for Perth Glory's ambitions of making the Hyundai A-League Grand Final for the first time that they beat Gold Coast United on Sunday.

Ian Ferguson says it's vital for Perth Glory's ambitions of making the Hyundai A-League Grand Final for the first time that they beat Gold Coast United on Sunday.

The Glory guaranteed their place in the playoffs for just the second time in the A-League era by beating Central Coast last week and they can ensure their first home final by winning at Skilled Park.

Perth, who sit in third spot on 40 points with two games to go, could mathematically overtake the Mariners and Roar and finish first or second, but Ferguson said the target he has set was to finish third to guarantee they played at home until the preliminary final if they made it that far.

He said the battle for third spot with Wellington, who trail the Glory only on goals scored, would be crucial in determining how far his side could go.

"If we want to go on and try to get to Grand Finals then there's certain games you have to win and this is one of them," Ferguson said.

"Even though we've reached our target of top six, we're not happy to just accept that. We want to go on and do the best we can and aspire to better things. The challenge is there for everybody."

"Considering we've only reached the finals twice in seven years I'd say it's definitely been a step in the right direction. But I want more, I want to go higher."

Although Gold Coast haven't won since their shock victory over Brisbane on Boxing Day, a streak of 13 games without taking the three points, Ferguson said he was expecting a tough challenge from them.

"They're causing teams problems," he said.

"Against Newcastle [in a 1-1 draw last week] they were very good and I thought they deserved to win it actually."

"We've got to make sure we don't go up there and underestimate these kids because they've got no fear and they're a team with plenty of mobility and energy."

"But if we go out and apply ourselves right, hopefully it'll take care of itself."

Perth's cause has been severely hurt by injuries, with Jacob Burns sidelined despite being cleared of broken ribs and Liam Miller still sidelined by a lingering back problem.

They will welcome former United striker Shane Smeltz back into the starting line-up though, with the New Zealander making his first appearance at Gold Coast since leaving the club at the end of last season.