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Ferguson upbeat despite poor form

7 December 2012 05:43

Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson is confident his side can bring their four-game winless run to an end when they face Melbourne Heart.

The men in purple will head to AAMI Park on Saturday having downed the Victorian side three times last term and chalked up another comfortable victory in their most recent meeting at nib Stadium back in week three.

Despite being without a win in their past four A-League outings, which has seen them slip to sixth on the table, Ferguson said his side were full of confidence.

"We're creating opportunities and we've got a great recent record against Heart, so we're going there with confidence," Ferguson said.

"We're getting one or two players back as well and we're going to freshen it up a bit, so I'm looking forward to it.

"I think the boys have been playing some really good football.

"Over the last three games we've created something like 50-plus chances.

"They've not all hit the target, but the fact that we're getting down the flanks and coming through the middle is great."

Ferguson said former Gold Coast United man Chris Harold will be handed his first start for the club this weekend having made several impressive cameo appearances off the bench in recent weeks.

"He's one that deserves a chance to get a start because every game that he's played he's done well and again against Victory, he's come on and had three great chances," he said.

"The boy's always dangerous, he's a threat.

"He's been patient, he's got on with his job and been a total professional.

"It's not nice for any player to be left on the bench after they've been playing, but he's worked really hard and shown the sort of attitude we want to see.

"Steven McGarry is another one who's worked hard and got his chance again and I thought he was excellent against Victory."

While confident his team can force their way back into the winners' circle, Ferguson is not underestimating the attacking threat posed by John Aloisi's side.

"Heart are a team that is very quick on the counter-attack," he said.

"With Fred in there and Matt Thompson and Jason Hoffman, that's a vital triangle for them.

"They play the same system, they've got the same philosophy and they'll attack and continue to attack with David Williams on the left and whoever comes in for Ben Garuccio on the right.

"John (Aloisi) is going to have to make a change or two and they are going to be missing a few players as well, like Aziz Behich, Michael Marrone and Richard Garcia, but they've got pace and energy going forward and Josip Tadic up front is playing well and becoming a real handful.

"We need to be careful and we've been working on making sure that we're defensively structured and ready to deal with those quick counter-attacks.

"That said, we're going there looking to win and confident that we can get three points."

In addition to Harold's inclusion, Ferguson confirmed that skipper Jacob Burns will come straight back into the starting 11 after completing his one-match suspension.

But he admitted that Liam Miller has only a 50-50 chance of being passed fit in time as he continues to battle the back problem that forced his late withdrawal from the team ahead of last week's defeat at Melbourne Victory.

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Friday 26 December

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Thursday 25 December

Wednesday 24 December

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A-League table

# Team MP D P
1 12 +10 29
2 12 +9 23
3 11 +12 22
4 11 +8 19
5 12 +0 17
6 11 -5 13
7 10 -2 10
8 11 -11 7
9 11 -12 7
10 9 -9 3

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