Perth Glory FC coach Kenny Lowe, has drawn many positives from the team’s tough pre-season road trip, despite going down 3-0 to Melbourne Victory behind closed doors at AAMI Park yesterday.
Victory opened the score in the 34th minute after a heavy deflection from a Gui Finkler free-kick wrong-footed Glory keeper Danny Vukovic. Glory then conceded against the run of play in the 71st minute, after a sleek Victory counter-attack resulted in a neat finish from Albanian striker Besart Berisha. The striker then capped off the scoring, four minutes later from the spot kick, after teammate Archie Thompson was brought down in the box.
Despite the result, Lowe remained upbeat over his team’s performance.
“I thought the performance was okay from our guys, it was a tighter game than the score indicated,” Lowe said. “We did quite well in the second half we just got punished for a lack of quality when we had the ball.”
“They caught us on the break but it was a tight game, a good game.”
While Lowe was impressed with the general performance of Glory, he stressed the need for Glory to be more patient with the ball.
“We need to move the ball around a little bit more,” Lowe said. “We had opportunities from the top of the box where we have taken a shot four or five times, when we could be going for more combination plays.”
“We see things and we want to play them a little quicker.”
“But you saw today the qualities we got; I think we did look dangerous today creating numerous chances.”
Lowe also praised the ability and character of his new signings.
“We’ve had a remit this year to go get what I call ‘blue-collar players; lads who have got no ego who are quite prepared to roll up their sleeves and do the work but also are quality players on the ball,” said Lowe.
“You’ve seen Andy Keogh today who I think has made 40 yard runs to cover for people who have been caught out of position. Mitch Nichols has got great endeavour and great energy.”
“That’s what the drive has been; getting hard working people who are also good footballers and I think you can see that throughout the squad.”
Rostyn Griffiths, Michael Thwaite, and Nebojsa Marinkovic travelled to Melbourne but did not play against Victory. During the Father’s Day clash, Jack Clisby fell ill and Scott Jamieson was substituted after copping a slight knock to his leg. Josh Risdon was also rested late in the game due to injury, reducing Perth Glory FC to 10 men in the last 13 minutes of play.
“I think we could’ve put one of the boys back on the pitch to make it 11 v 11 but I think we got to be mindful of the players’ welfare.” Lowe said.
“We didn’t concede with 10 men, so it was a good exercise for us.”
The Victory match was Perth’s second in four days.
On Thursday, Michael Thwaite cancelled Sergio Cirio’s opening goal, in the 38th minute to level the match 1-1 in another tough pre-season encounter at Coopers Stadium.
The next big clash for Perth Glory FC, will be against Melbourne N-P-L outfit St. Albans Saints in the round of 16 of the Westfield FFA Cup.
Kick- off is at 7.30 (EST) at Knights Stadium on September 23.