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Glory embrace underdog status

3 April 2013 08:30

Perth Glory defender Scott Jamieson says his side are relishing the role of underdogs as they prepare for the A-League finals.

Having squeezed into the top six on goal-difference courtesy of last weekend's draw with Adelaide, Glory face a cut-throat elimination final at Melbourne Victory on Friday.

And Jamieson is quite happy for the hosts to carry the extra pressure of the favourites tag.

"If you look at where we were six weeks ago, to get where we are now was unexpected," Jamieson said.

"But now we're not going to rest and take it easy.

"We want to enjoy it and play as many games as we can starting with this week against a side that was pretty much everyone's favourite to win the competition at the start of the season.

"I said when I first moved over here that I was surprised by the fact that people in the eastern states don't really take any notice of us and it's a good thing.

"They (Victory) are in the finals and have had a good season and have some real standout players, so there's no reason why they wouldn't be favourites.

"But we're out west and we're just going to do our thing and hopefully we'll come through and they won't."

The 24-year-old former Sydney FC man also believes that Glory will benefit from having already come through a series of must-win games during their dramatic late surge from the foot of the ladder into the top six.

"We've effectively been playing finals football for the last six weeks and that's the biggest advantage for us, because they haven't," he said.

"I don't think we'll get carried away or anything because we've lived with that level of pressure and learned from it, so we have that in our locker and they don't.

"We've got to draw on that and hopefully use that to our advantage."

Glory will welcome Liam Miller back from suspension for the do-or-die clash at Etihad Stadium, while Shane Smeltz is confident that he will recover from his head injury in time to feature.

"Shane's a big game player and he's raring to go," Jamieson said.

"I'm pretty confident that he will play.

"If he does come in, it'll be good to have him back, but I don't think it'll be easy for him to come back in because of the form of Heff (Dean Heffernan) at the weekend.

"Decisions have to be made and either one of them would do a good job for the team.

"With Liam coming back as well, it's the manager's decision along with the assistant coach, but as long as my name's on the team-list, the rest can take care of itself."

Jamieson is set to be joined in the back four by Michael Thwaite and his fellow Socceroo is adamant that Glory have it in them to emulate last season's run to the grand final.

"The finals is a whole new ball game," he said.

"It could be our last weekend, or part of a magical run and definitely no-one here wants to go on an early holiday.

"And the two teams with a bit of momentum behind them are certainly us and Brisbane."

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Sunday 21 December

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A-League table

# Team MP D P
1 11 +10 28
2 11 +12 22
3 11 +6 20
4 10 +5 17
5 10 +6 16

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