Mitch applauds mental toughness
Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell has praised his players’ mental fortitude by securing a hard earned point against Newcastle in an emotion charged match at Members Equity Stadium.
Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell has praised his players- mental fortitude by securing a hard earned point against Newcastle in an emotion charged match at Members Equity Stadium.
The Glory battled back twice from a goal down and were reduced to 10 men after Jamie Coyne was given his marching orders.
Coyne, making his 100th appearance for the club, received a straight red with 30 minutes remaining after a tackle on Newcastle forward Jin-Hyung Song, a decision that was later reversed by the Match Review Panel after Fox Sports footage clearly showed the Glory skipper making contact with the ball.
Any thought the match was out of reach was quickly dispelled as the Glory assumed control of possession through the midfield with their persistence rewarded in the dying stages when Eugene Dadi converted from the spot after substitute Adrian Trinidad earned a penalty in injury time.
"I think the second half we pushed and pushed and pushed to get an equaliser and hopefully it would have been earlier 'cause I think we would have gone on and won the game,” said Mitchell following the match.
"Obviously we didn't start off the best ... (but we) showed a lot of fine spirit and character to come back in and we were pushing for the result and thankfully we got a result towards the end," he said.
Jets striker Joel Griffiths opened the scoring after 17 minutes but the Glory pegged the reigning Champions back through a stunning Nikita Rukavytsya shot that slammed into the top-right-hand corner of the net.
It was a neat piece of play from the home side who took full advantage of a poor clearance from Newcastle custodian Ante Covic to level the scores.
The visitors wrestled back the advantage just before the break when Olyroos skipper Mark Milligan made a forty meter pass to pick out Tarek Elrich running down the right flank. The Jets youngster accelerated past Scott Bulloch to knock his shot under Tando Velaphi in the Glory goal.
It was a tough introduction to left back for Bulloch, who had come on just forty seconds earlier, replacing the injured Naum Sekulovski who limped off with a strained his knee.
Mitchell though made a point of applauding Bulloch's character as he responded with a fine performance in the second half, combining with Nick Rizzo to send in waves of crosses from the left, while Wayne Srhoj stepped up a notch through the midfield, delivering several penetrating balls into the area during the second half.
The result was a gritty team performance however Mitchell couldn't help but single out defender Dino Djulbic who played out the full 90 minutes after initially being ruled out with a badly sprained ankle.
"Let me just say if there's one player that's committed to getting fit and on the park, its Dino," Mitchell said.
"He was bugging the physios and getting in three or four times a day for treatment, but it's paid off.
“There might have been a few home remedies in there as well,” Mitchell joked.