Perth Gory FC head coach Kenny Lowe has scotched suggestions the club’s season is over as the team heads into RD 8 of the Hyundai A-League against glamour side Melbourne City tomorrow night.
While Glory has only chalked up one win in six outings (RD 5 was rescheduled due to FFA CUP final) Lowe has not hit the panic button.
“I say 21 games the season’s just starting. Depends on how you look at it. Is your glass half-full or half- empty? I’m a realistic optimist. I’m always focused on the good things we can do and where we can go,” he said.
“We’re upbeat. There’s a lot of points to play for and a lot of players (injured) to come back and there’s 21 games to go and there’s the January window so let’s see what Santa brings us” he joked.
Glory will head into the match without recent Socceroo debutant Josh Risdon (thigh) and Alex Grant (thigh).
“It’s a bit sad but we’ll cope as we’ve done all year. It opens up opportunities for other people; it might be two week so we’re erring on the side of caution”.
Injuries have plagued Lowe’s troops since the season start with stalwart Dino Djulbic out for at least five weeks due to a leg injury, Hungarian import Gyorgy Sandor is still recovering from a knock at training which left him with a bruised ankle and striker Guyon Fernandez mending an injured ankle. Lowe hopes the Dutchman won’t have to undergo surgery to heal the pain.
“We’re trying to manage his training load so he doesn’t go down that route and we’ve modified his training a bit. We’re trying to keep his levels up so he doesn’t aggravate it. It’s been positive so far and there’s been no discomfort and fingers crossed we get the weekend away and we’ll wait and see.”
Glory last played City in the FFA Cup Semi-Final at nib Stadium last month, walking off the pitch as 3-1 winners. Lowe said while his team hadn’t scored many goals in the past few weeks, they were still creating chances and the team packed plenty of attacking threat.
“We’ve created chances, we’ve created opportunities, we’re vibrant there’s an upbeat mood in the camp. We’ve just got to turn the training ground environment into the match day environment.”
Asian Champions League winner Antony Golec returns to the squad this week while Michael Thwaite, who started in midfield against Sydney FC last week, may feature in the middle of the park again on Friday night, an effort earning a lot of praise from Lowe.
“I thought he was outstanding, his distribution was superb and was a good springboard for us and a lot of our attacking stuff came from that. I think he’s enjoying himself...he was running around like a spring chicken…he’s done really well. “
The Perth coach acknowledged that City boasted arguably the best Australian player in the Hyundai A-League in Aaron Mooy but was also stressed Glory good virtues.
“We’re hard to beat and we’re very well organised”
Kick-off is at 4.40pm WST at AAMI Park on Friday.
Friday, 27 November 2015
Melbourne City FC v Perth Glory
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-Off: 7:40 PM (Local) (7:40 PM (AEDT))
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referee 1: George Lakrindis
Assistant Referee 2: Wilson Brown
Fourth Official: Shaun Evans
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and SBS TWO from 7:30pm (AEDT)
Radio Broadcast: Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live. Crocmedia A-League Live (www.facebook.com/A-leagueLIVERadio). SEN Radio (Melbourne)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MCYvPER
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (GK), 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Erik PAARTALU, 7.Corey GAMEIRO, 8.Aaron MOOY, 9.Harry NOVILLO, 15.David WILLIAMS, 16.Jason TRIFIRO, 18.Paulo RETRE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 21.Stefan MAUK, 22.Jack CLISBY, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI, 25.Jacob MELLING, 30.Hernan ESPINDOLA, 36.Matt MILLER
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 16.Jason TRIFIRO (promoted), 30.Hernan ESPINDOLA (promoted)
Unavailable: 3.Aaron HUGHES (1 week), 10.Robert KOREN (calf – 2 weeks), 14.James BROWN (foot – indefinite), 24.Patrick KISNORBO (calf – 1 week)
Perth Glory squad: 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 3.Marc WARREN, 5.Antony GOLEC, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA (c), 12.Jerrad TYSON (gk), 13.Diogo FERREIRA, 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Hagi GLIGOR, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA, 17.Diego CASTRO, 18.Mitch OXBORROW, 23.Michael THWAITE, 24.Jamal REINERS, 25.Jacob COLLARD, 26.Stefan VALENTINI, 28.Joseph KNOWLES, 29.Aryn WILLIAMS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Antony GOLEC (promoted), 25.Jacob COLLARD (promoted), 26.Stefan VALENTINI (promoted), 28.Joseph KNOWLES (promoted)
Outs: 2.Alex GRANT (thigh – 2 weeks), 19.Josh RISDON (thigh – 2 weeks)
Unavailable: 6.Dino DJULBIC (ankle – 5 weeks), 7.Gyorgy SANDOR (ankle – 1 week), 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH (knee – indefinite), 20.Guyon FERNANDEZ (foot – 1 week)