FINALS FOCUS

Perth Glory midfielder Travis Dodd has insisted that the men in purple remain very much in the hunt for a finals berth despite last weekend's narrow defeat at the hands of in-form Western Sydney.

Perth Glory midfielder Travis Dodd has insisted that the men in purple remain very much in the hunt for a finals berth despite last weekend's narrow defeat at the hands of in-form Western Sydney.

A home date with Sydney FC this Saturday night is next on the agenda for Alistair Edwards' side and Dodd is confident that the hosts can recapture the kind of form they showed in their stunning victory over ladder leaders Central Coast a fortnight ago.

"At this stage of the season we just want to beat everyone," he said.

"There are five games to go and we're still well and truly in the finals race and so are Sydney.

"So it's a game in which both sides have everything to play for and it's going to be a matter of who wants the game more and I'm pretty confident that it'll be us.

"We've got belief in each other and the coaching staff's got the belief in the players and likewise.

"We will go out there backing ourselves, the staff and the game plan 100% and I think we saw against the Mariners that it can work because that was a very good performance from the team.

"Hopefully we can repeat that performance on Saturday."

And the man who has skippered the side in Jacob Burns' absence feels that his side will find extra motivation from the memory of the unfortunate defeat they suffered at the hands of the Del Piero and co back in week 4.

"I thought we had complete control of that game until the sending off," he said, "and then it swung around again.

"We certainly didn't deserve to lose that one and I believe that what we can do as a team will break them down in the game on Saturday night.

"It's great to have world class players like (Alessandro) Del Piero and Lucas Neill as opposition.

"It's good for the league.

"We've played against Del Piero a couple of times now and we know what he can and can't do, so it's going to be another big test for us, but I'm confident that we can play well, be positive and get the win."

In terms of the impact made by new head coach Alistair Edwards, meanwhile, Dodd feels that the playing group has enthusiastically embraced his training methods and that the Glory faithful will witness an improved level of performance from their side as the campaign enters its final furlong.

"It's a different style of coaching," he said.

"Alistair is working a lot on our structure and our transition moments and making sure that we're not exposed on counter-attacks and that kind of thing.

"We're working hard and hopefully it'll pay off and we'll feel the benefits during the games.

"The first week they (Edwards and assistant Gareth Naven) came in, they worked the boys pretty hard and now I think there's a good understanding of the game plan and the way he wants us to play.

"Now it's about us getting used to it and being able to implement it in games.

"It will take time, but we're confident that we can keep those improvements going from week to week and get enough wins to make the finals."

PERTH GLORY v SYDNEY FC nib stadium Kick-off: 6.45pm

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