Match Prevew: Epakis backing Glory to build on Canberra platform

Alex Epakis believes that his Glory side have what it takes to build upon their away draw with Canberra United and secure a first win of the season in Thursday's clash with Western Sydney Wanderers at Marconi Stadium (kick-off at 4.10pm WST).

The women in purple have not been in action since their gutsy draw in the nation's capital on 24th January, adding further disruption to what has already been a disjointed campaign.

But the Head Coach is confident that the squad's positive mental approach will enable them to overcome the adversity they continue to face.

"It's been a bit stop-start because obviously we had that week when we couldn't train due to lockdown," he said.

"We had some momentum, I believe, after the last game against Canberra.

"That momentum would have put us in a good position for games immediately after that, but it hasn't panned out that way, so we've tried to keep hold of whatever momentum we had left from that fixture and put it into training for the last four weeks and hopefully that'll give us a good start against the Wanderers.

"I think it's difficult to ask the players to perform when there are no matches consistently, but I also think we have the characters who will step up to the challenge and then the sky is the limit.

"If we can bring how we're training into life in the game against Wanderers, we'll give ourselves every chance.

"It's just whether that lack of actual match-intensity minutes are going to be what makes us fall a little bit short.

"You can't always correlate training to matches, but you can correlate consistent matches each week."

While Glory have played just three times this season, Wanderers have seen action on seven occasions, picking up only one win.

Epakis, however, feels that Dean Heffernan's side are better than those results suggest.

"The competition has been inconsistent in its nature this season," he said.

"Sometimes the underdog wins and the form other teams have gone into games with hasn't counted for much.

"That's going to be the case against Wanderers.

"I haven't looked too much at their win-loss record, I've just looked at the players that they've got and I know they're capable of anything.

"There are some great players there with good experience at W-League and international level and with that squad, I think they're going to be asking themselves how they can be higher.

"So they'll definitely go into the game wanting to win it as much as us.

"But we're really positive and looking at one or two wins, with all the games we have in hand, potentially taking us up to mid-table.

"With teams having played those games and got their points tally, we know what we're chasing and looking to achieve."

Epakis also feels that the the Canberra display provides a more accurate picture of Glory's quality than the current, skewed, league ladder.

"Since that game," he said, "we've seen Canberra get some very good results and they are sitting high in the table, so that performance showed that we can match it player for player with those strong, experienced teams and that in itself gave people a really good energy post-match.

"I thought we could have got the three points, but we've waked away with one and we know more importantly that our performance allowed us to compete and we have the quality and capability to perform.

"That said a lot to the girls.

"That will be the message going into this game: don't forget, we drew with Canberra.

"We took it the full 90 minutes, we had some really good moments and some moments that we could have been better in, but we took something out of it and that's our starting point for this Wanderers game.

"That's the minimum level we expect and if that's what we produce as minimum, we're hoping that we give ourselves a real chance."

Glory will head into Thursday's game looking to avenge last season's two defeats against the Wanderers, the second of which came in the final game of the year in Bunbury.

Overall, the two sides have met on 15 previous occasions, with Glory claiming nine wins to Wanderers' six.

In terms of early squad news, new signing Taneesha Baker is poised to make her senior debut for Glory, while the home side have no fresh injury concerns.

Match Details

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory

Marconi Stadium, Bossley Park

Kick-Off: 4:10pm (WST)(7:10pm (Local))

Referee: Rachel Mitchenson

Assistant Referee 1: Sarah Ho

Assistant Referee 2: Emma Kocbek

Fourth Official: Bec Mackie

TV Broadcast:  Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 4:00pm (WST), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers

Radio Broadcast: Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #WSWvPER

To purchase tickets visit www.w-league.com.au/tickets  

Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Sarah WILLACY (GK), 2.Caitlin COOPER, 3.Nikola ORGILL, 4.Margaux CHAUVET, 6.Olivia PRICE, 7.Chloe MIDDLETON, 8.Erica HALLOWAY, 9.Bryleeh HENRY, 10.Libby COPUS-BROWN, 11.Danika MATOS, 12.Julie-Ann RUSSELL,13.Georgia YEOMAN-DALE, 15.Rosie GALEA, 16.Isabel GOMEZ, 18.Sarah HUNTER, 20.Courtney NEWBON (GK), 25.Teigan COLLISTER

**2 to be omitted**

Ins: 6.Olivia PRICE (promoted), 8.Erica HALLOWAY (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil

Perth Glory squad:: 1.Lily ALFELD (gk), 2.Sarah CARROLL, 4.Natasha RIGBY (c), 5.Deborah-Anne DE LA HARPE, 6.Tijan MCKENNA, 7.Elizabeth ANTON, 8.Hana LOWRY, 9.Malia STEINMETZ, 10.Alexia MORENO, 11.Patricia CHARALAMBOUS, 12.Sarah MORGAN, 14.Caitlin DOEGLAS, 16.Isabella WALLHEAD, 17.Marianna TABAIN, 18.Taneesha BAKER, 20.Rebecca BENNETT (gk)

Ins: 16.Isabella WALLHEAD (promoted), 18.Taneesha BAKER (promoted)

Outs: 13.Jamie-Lee GALE (not selected), 23.Katarina JUKIC (not selected)

Unavailable: 3.Gemma CRAINE (hamstring – season)

#OneGlory