Match Preview - Popa happy with players' away-day attitude

Head Coach Tony Popovic has praised his side's away form in the build-up to Sunday's Round 8 clash with Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium [kick off 2pm WST].

Glory have picked up seven points from a possible nine on their travels so far this term and will be out to cement top spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder by making that ten from 12 at the expense of Ernie Merrick's side who are currently sitting in sixth spot.

Not that Popovic is expecting a comfortable afternoon in the Hunter Valley. 

Popa's presser in full

"Every game has been tough and getting to this point has been tough," he said. "There will be many more challenges ahead along this path, but at the moment we are top of the table and we have to believe that we can stay there.

"I feel that we now go on the road with a real belief and the confidence grows with each result. It's difficult travelling from here and Newcastle is one of the longest journeys because you have to get the bus up from Sydney.

"But the players have dealt well with those challenges so far and will be best prepared to deal with them again this weekend.

"We have another chance to keep ourselves there [on top of the ladder] this weekend against a side that got its first win at home last week. We know how well they did last year under Ernie Merrick and they'll be buoyant and full of confidence, but we're also a good side that's full of confidence, so hopefully we can play our part in a good match and come away with the points.

"We've done very well over these couple of weeks with the travel and a short turnaround and now we've had a longer window of eight days between games which has really helped the players to recover.

"Hopefully that will show in how sharp they are on Sunday."

Popovic went on to confirm that midfielder Juande could return to the squad this week after shaking off a knee niggle, while Matthew Spiranovic is a chance to feature as early as next week despite being forced out of Saturday's win over Melbourne City by a hamstring injury.

Newcastle, meanwhile, will again be without striker Roy O-Donovan who remains suspended, but experienced defender Jason Hoffman could come back into the selection frame after recovering from injury.

Glory will head east looking to maintain a remarkable unbeaten run at McDonald Jones Stadium that stretches back to 2011.

Match Details

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory

McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

Kick-Off: 5:00pm (Local) 2.00pm (WST)

Referee: Stephen Lucas

Assistant Referee 1: Scott Edeling

Assistant Referee 2: James Cleal

Fourth Official: Stephen Laurie

VAR: Jarred Gillett

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 4.30pm (AEDT), Sky Sport 1 (New Zealand) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers

Radio Broadcast: myfootballnation.com (SRN and SportFM Perth).ABC News on Radio, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Listen App – A-League Live.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash tag #NEWvPER

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

Newcastle Jets: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimi PETRATOS, 8.Jair, 10.Ronald VARGAS, 11.Mitch AUSTIN, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 14.Kaine SHEPPARD, 16.Nick COWBURN, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 3.Jason HOFFMAN (return from injury), 22.Lachlan JACKSON (return from injury)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 9.Roy O’DONOVAN (suspension – 1 round), 24.Joe CHAMPNESS (foot – TBC)

Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3.Jason DAVIDSON, 4.Shane LOWRY, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 9.Andy KEOGH, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 27.JUANDE, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 14.Chris HAROLD (promoted), 22.Fabio FERREIRA (promoted), 27.JUANDE (promoted)

Outs: 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC (injury)

Unavailable: 2.Alex GRANT (foot – 2 weeks), 23.Scott NEVILLE (ankle - 2 weeks), 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC (hamstring – 1 week)

#OneGlory