"That's why you play football; you play for the fans and for the club."
That was Richard Garcia's response when asked what it will mean to him and the Glory players to have the club's Members and fans backing them at HBF Park in Sunday's showdown with Melbourne Victory (kick-off at 4.10pm, tickets HERE).
COVID-19 restrictions unfortunately meant that Wednesday's home meeting with Melbourne City had to be played behind closed doors, but with a 75% capacity limit restored for this weekend, Glory's Head Coach feels that his charges will receive a massive lift.
"It's fantastic," he said.
"It was quite eerie the other night without a crowd.
"We always enjoy playing in front of our fans and that's the biggest reason why we do what we do."
In terms of what he's looking for from his players, Garcia was as candid as he had been in the wake of the defeat against Melbourne City.
"We need to push the club in the direction we feel it needs to go," he said.
"We had a vision and a plan for the club when we first took over and that plan will take us forward.
"It's been a tough time and people tend to show their true colours when things are going against you.
"That's something I'm learning as a coach.
"It's about us now trying to put things in place to go forward.
"It's about dealing with those setbacks and having the confidence to move forward.
"We are always trying to be positive and bring out the guys' best attributes and it's about them taking ownership of their mentality.
"At the moment, when the mentality has been tested, we're not standing up to it and that's something that comes with experience, especially with the young guys and that's something that we need to help develop.
"We need to have more belief in ourselves and each other."
Victory will make the long trip west off the back of a 2-1 home defeat in their home clash with Macarthur FC on Thursday evening, but Garcia feels that they have been on a positive trajectory since Steve Kean took interim charge ahead of Tony Popovic's scheduled arrival at the end of the season.
"They are in a rebuilding year as well and are in the situation where everybody is out to impress the new manager as well as to work hard for the manager that is there at the moment," he said.
"They've been working really hard and their performances have improved dramatically.
"You can tell that they have the bit between their teeth and it's going to be a tough game.
"So it's a game we'll need to excel in for hopefully the full 90 minutes and that's got to be the focus; that we put in a performance for the whole 90 and not only for 60, or 30, or 45."
While Glory have not managed to win any of their last five meetings with Victory, they do boast a strong record against them at home, winning 12 of the 22 previous games at HBF Park and losing just six.
Sunday, 9 May 2021
Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory
HBF Park, Perth
Kick-Off: 4:10pm (Local)(6:10pm (AEST))
Referee: Kurt Ams
Assistant Referee 1: Josh Mannella
Assistant Referee 2: Arvin Shanmuganathan
Fourth Official: Adam Fielding
VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PERvMVC
Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 5.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 7.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 8.Kosuke OTA, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 10.Andy KEOGH, 11.Joel CHIANESE, 13.Luke BODNAR, 15.Brandon WILSON, 17.Diego CASTRO, 18.Nick D'AGOSTINO, 19.Callum TIMMINS, 20.Carlo ARMIENTO, 23.Dane INGHAM, 24.Daniel STYNES, 26.Giordano COLLI, 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 37.Riley WARLAND, 38.Ciaran BRAMWELL
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 19.Callum TIMMINS (promoted), 24.Daniel STYNES (returns from injury), 26.Giordano COLLI (promoted)
Outs: 88.Neil KILKENNY (not selected)
Unavailable: 2.Jason GERIA (hip – 1 week), 4.Sebastian LANGKAMP (groin 2-4 weeks)
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matt ACTON (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 4.Nick ANSELL, 6.Leigh BROXHAM (c), 8.Jacob BUTTERFIELD, 9.Rudy GESTEDE, 10.Robbie KRUSE, 11.Ben FOLAMI, 13.Birkan KIRDAR, 14.Jay BARNETT, 15.Aaron ANDERSON, 17.Elvis KAMSOBA, 19.Dylan RYAN, 20.Max CROCOMBE (gk), 22.Jacob BRIMMER, 25.Luis LAWRIE-LATTANZIO, 26.Lleyton BROOKS, 29.Nishan VELUPILLAY
**0-2 to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Storm ROUX (return from suspension), 11.Ben FOLAMI (return from injury)
Outs: 16.Brandon LAUTON (groin), 42.Aisen ISHAK (not selected)
Unavailable: 3.Adama TRAORE (suspended – 1 game), 5.Ryan SHOTTON (knee), 7.Callum McMANAMAN (ankle), 23.Marco ROJAS (ankle), 35.Zaydan BELLO (strain)