GALLAS HAS 90 MINS OF VICTORY IN SIGHT

In an encouraging sign for Glory fans, international marquee defender William Gallas started his second match in a row on the weekend against the Wanderers as he continues to build up optimum match fitness.

In an encouraging sign for Glory fans, international marquee defender William Gallas started his second match in a row on the weekend against the Wanderers as he continues to build up optimum match fitness.

The former French international is hoping to go one better this Friday night against the Victory and complete 90 minutes for the Glory.

“I played almost 80 minutes on Sunday so it was good. So slowly, slowly I-m starting to get fitter and for the next game I will be ready to play 90 minutes,” Gallas said.

Gallas suffered a calf injury in Round 7 which was only expected to keep him out of action for one week, but scans revealed a bigger tear than first realised which forced the 36-year-old to miss eight rounds of football. It-s been a frustrating time for Gallas, who has had to bide his time on the sidelines to ensure there was no re-occurrence of the injury.

“All the players are always frustrated when they can-t play. It-s our passion to play football, to be on the pitch, to enjoy our football so it was not easy but it was very important for me to be patient,” he said.

“Now everything is behind me so now I can enjoy myself with my team mates and that is the most important thing.”

The former French international came to Australia with the reputation as a winner after back-to-back English Premier League titles with Chelsea. Despite dropping one spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder to seventh following Sunday-s loss, Gallas says the Championship remains a realistic target for the Glory with 12 games still to play.

“It can be this season. Every team can go so quick if you win four or five games and you can be on top. I came here to win trophies and get something at the end of the season. That is my mentality - I want to win.”

The player capped 84 times for France is not just limiting that winning mentality to the pitch. When asked how he went in the game of football-tennis from training at McGillvray Oval on Tuesday, Gallas simply responded ‘I won- (laughing).

“Sometime I-m shouting on the pitch during training. Maybe the players don-t expect that but that is my mentality so every little game is for me to win, to give 100 percent and to be ready for the weekend.”

There is further good team news for the Glory with Shane Smeltz and Nebojsa Marinkovic both showing encouraging form against the Wanderers. Smeltz marked his second start of the season with a well-taken goal in the 55th minute while Marinkovic made an impressive debut for the club in the 60th minute.

Defensive midfielder Rostyn Griffiths and Lithuanian international striker Darvydas Sernas both signed for the club last week and are hoping to be cleared in time to make their home debuts against the Melbourne Victory.

Gallas paid tribute to Smeltz- goal-scoring instincts but said it was important for the club-s newest players to understand the striker-s strengths.

“He-s very important for us.”

“He likes to score goals so we have to assist him. I know he has been working very hard because he was injured. So at training, I think the players are trying to know him better, to know his movements because that is very important for the combination between the midfield and the striker,” he added.

The Glory has a quick turnaround time ahead of Friday night-s match after only returning from Sydney on Monday afternoon. Gallas says the short week could be a good thing for the team as long as they apply the right attitude on the training ground.

“At training, we have to train harder. Normally you play how you train so we have to do this. We know what we have to do now so this week will be a little bit different with maybe more intensity to be ready for Friday because it will be a big game against Melbourne.”

“To play on Friday night is very good because we don-t have time to think too much and then we can come back with victory and that is very important for the spirit of the squad. I think all the players are very excited to play on Friday night.”

“I know it won-t be easy but we have quality players. We have two more days to train very well and do everything right to be ready for Friday.”