“We are actually a far better football team than people give us credit for,” was Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson’s response to week of headlines labelling his side ‘physical’.
“We are actually a far better football team than people give us credit for,” was Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson-s response to week of headlines labelling his side ‘physical-.
With two wins from the opening three rounds of the 2012/13 Hyundai A-League season, Ferguson set the record straight.
“The stats show that we are not the dirtiest team in the league,” he said.
“There are four teams above us in that respect and I-m sick of hearing the same crap every year.”
But the coach also showed a his sense of humour when he was asked how Perth Glory would stop Sydney FC superstar Alessandro Del Piero during Sunday-s high-profile clash at ANZ Stadium.
“We-ll kick him off the park,” was Ferguson-s tongue-in-cheek response before he praised the Italian-s brilliance.
“As for Del Piero, to have a player of that calibre on the park is fantastic.
“It must be a buzz to go and play against a guy of that stature who-s won numerous European Cups and Championships,
“For our players to go and show what they-ve got, to see if they can go to the next level, that-s surely a challenge for them.”
In terms of Glory-s real plans to stymie the former Azzurri legend, meanwhile, Ferguson had the following to say..
“He-s obviously a player that will need close attention.
“You can-t give a player like Del Piero space and time on the ball because he-ll crucify you.
“The plan is to go out there and make sure we don-t give him that room.”
And he went on to insist that Glory-s focus this week has been placed firmly upon fine-tuning their own game-plan rather than countering that of their opponents.
“It-s a case of what we can do, how we can cause problems, can we stay where we are, can we do better, can we go higher?” he said.
“And that-s what we want to do, we-ve got to be positive.
“We have three or four players that I could easily list off who will cause problems for them and that-s great to see.
“Including our two pre-season friendlies against Melbourne Heart and Melbourne Victory, we-ve now played five games and done really well in every one of them.
“Even against Central Coast, it wasn-t the prettiest of football, but there was a gameplan and it was two high-tempo teams cancelling each other out.
“We really should have got a point out of it, but that-s football.
“I-m reasonably happy with where we-re at and I-m very confident in the boys and about the challenge ahead.
“We have to stay focused, no matter who we-re playing, on what we can do and just try and get the three points in every game we play.”
Bas van den Brink will return to the squad for the Sydney clash after missing last week-s victory over Melbourne Heart due to a calf strain, although Ferguson would not be drawn on whether the rangy defender would be included in the first eleven.
And at the conclusion of this morning-s high-tempo training session, departing “West Australian” newspaper journalist Jonathan Cook was presented with a signed and framed Glory shirt in honour of his work covering the club for the past 16 years.