Perth Glory vs. Melbourne Victory  0 - 1


Ansell out of Glory clash

18 January 2013 08:37

Melbourne Victory defender Nick Ansell has failed in his bid to overcome a groin injury, ruled out of Saturday's clash with the Perth Glory.

Ansell, who has quickly established himself in the starting line-up since making his debut against Western Sydney in late November, picked up the strain in last week's 1-1 draw with Central Coast.

Coach Ange Postecoglou said after training at Gosch's Paddock on Friday that the youngster would not be risked for the trip to Perth, which Billy Celeski will also miss through suspension, with Leigh Broxham and one of Jonathan Bru or Jimmy Jeggo to come back into the starting 11.

"Yeah Nicky didn't come up," Postecoglou said.

"He trained yesterday but he's still not 100 percent so (there's) no point risking him, it's a long trip over there, so we'll leave him out and Broxy (Broxham) will come in."

Postecoglou refused to concede the loss of Ansell as a blow to his defence ahead of a clash with a team that includes Kiwi striker Shane Smeltz, especially considering Broxham was lauded recently for his job on Emile Heskey in a defensive role in late December.

"We don't expect Nick Ansell to stop Shane Smeltz, it's about us collectively (and) what we do," Postecoglou added.

"They've got some attacking threats with Smeltz, (Steven) McGarry in good form and Travis Dodd can always score.

"We've got to do a good job defensively but it comes down to us as a unit and Broxy's been really good when we've put him back there so we've got faith that he'll do a good job."

As for Victory's poor record in the Western Australian capital, which currently reads just two wins and a draw from 11 encounters, Postecoglou was quick to dismiss the venue as a factor.

"I don't have a poor record in Perth, I've got a good record in Perth (but) it's just one of those things I guess," he said.

"It's a tough trip over there no doubt, in any code, going over to the west.

"From our point of view it will be a challenge but that's a good thing (because) I guess it will show what progress we're making if we can go over there and play well and get a result (and it) would be further evidence that we're progressing as a team.

"I kind of like those kind of challenges when we haven't done too well in the past.

"With any kind of game you can build yourself up to believing it's going to be something but ultimately it's all just a game of football that we're going to try and win.

"I guess the beauty for us is that our approach every week doesn't really change.

"We're certainly not going to go over there trying not to lose and because of that mentality it shouldn't really matter how far you're travelling or the ground you're playing at.

"You're trying to outplay the opposition and get the points (and) that's what we'll be doing tomorrow."


Glory plan to attack Victory

18 January 2013 08:06

Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson insists attack will be the home side's best form of defence against Melbourne Victory on Saturday night.

Strike duo Marco Rojas and Archie Thompson have been all but unstoppable for the Victory this season, but Ferguson is adamant their threat can best be nullified by keeping them on the back foot.

"Victory are a team that are on a high at the moment, playing good football and getting good results," he said.

"But we're at home where we've only lost once this year and we're pretty confident in our own backyard, so let's take the game to Victory.

"Rojas, Archie and (Marcos) Flores are on fire for them at the moment and (Mark) Milligan is doing a good job as well as a screener in midfield.

"I look at how we can stop them and what we can do to make our chances count and get that win.

"It's not just about them coming here and us trying to shut up shop, it's about us as well.

"We'll be doing everything we can to get a good result for our fans and hopefully get on a run and push ourselves up into that top five."

And although Glory have now won only two of their past 11 games, their coach feels they are more than capable of making a decisive late surge during the final third of the season.

"As I keep saying, I don't feel that we're that far away," Ferguson said.

"I think we just need to tweak a couple of little things here and there and cut out the silly mistakes because every time we make a mistake at the moment, we seem to be getting punished for it.

"We've got to make sure that we're tight and difficult to beat and keep our discipline.

"We are creating a lot of chances, but unfortunately they've not been going in, but I'm confident that'll come.

"If we keep believing in what we're doing and stick to the gameplan, we'll turn it around."

In terms of possible activity on the recruitment front, meanwhile, Ferguson said the club had missed out on young striker Francesco Stella, who signed for the Victory earlier this week.

But Ferguson said negotiations with another transfer target have now reached an advanced stage.

"We've put an offer to a player," he said. "We're just waiting on a reply from his agent, so hopefully we'll have something done by Monday.

"We tried to get Stella, but unfortunately it never materialised because he'd already signed for another club.

"The contract had been sent out before we even got him on the phone so that was disappointing for us, but good for the club that have got him."

Ferguson was less forthcoming in terms of his team selection for the Victory clash, saying key defender Michael Thwaite is close to regaining full fitness having been sidelined for three weeks by a calf strain.

"We're obviously close with Thwaitey in terms of whether he's going to be in or out," he said. "We're going to give him every opportunity to prove his fitness.

"He's been working very hard behind the scenes doing a lot of rehab, so we'll see how he reacts to today's session and make the call on him tomorrow."

Jesse Makarounas, 18, is widely expected to complete a move from Glory to Victory early next week having found first-team opportunities difficult to come by at nib Stadium.


Burns fears Victory attack

15 January 2013 10:27

Perth Glory skipper Jacob Burns said Melbourne Victory's star forwards Marco Rojas and Archie Thompson are his side's biggest threat.

The two sides are set to meet on Saturday night at nib Stadium, with Victory sitting pretty in third spot on the table while Glory are battling for a finals spot in sixth.

Burns, however, was also keen to talk up his side's own attacking prowess, which is highlighted by Shane Smeltz, Ryo Nagai and Travis Dodd.

"We've got to be very mindful of the pace of Thompson and Rojas up front," he said.

"And that's something we've been working on all week and will continue to do ahead of Saturday.

"We've seen the combination time and time again, with Rojas and Archie getting down the wings, crossing balls for each other and getting on the end of things.

"And we have to be very mindful of that, especially at home when we're pressing and playing a certain brand of football and trying to attack.

"We need to make sure that we lock up shop when they are trying to break forward and counter them when we can.

"But if there's something we can exploit, I think it's their defence.

"They've got very capable players going forward in (Marcos) Flores, Rojas and Thompson, but I think we do too if you look at our personnel and we're going to test them down their end as well."

And although an indifferent run of form has left the men in purple eight points adrift of third-placed Victory, Burns believes his side's recent performances have been better than their results and that last season's beaten grand finalists can still have a major say in this year's competition.

"No-one has had more possession or more chances than us," he said.

"We've just fallen for a sucker punch in a few of the games.

"It's a harder pill to swallow when you're playing well and not getting the results, that's for sure and in a lot of cases this year, we've been the better team without getting the end product.

"But I think we can take some positives out of the way we've been playing and the chances we've been creating.

"The Victory game is a must-win.

"They've been in very good form and are sitting above us in the table, so it's an opportunity to test ourselves, I think, against one of the best attacking teams in the league at this moment.

"We've been strong at home and obviously we want to continue that form.

"Our target remains the same; to go one better than last year and that never changes."

The 34-year-old received treatment for what appeared to be a thigh strain during Tuesday's training session, but swiftly returned to the main group where he could well be joined by Michael Thwaite later in the week.

The influential defender has missed the last three games after picking up a calf injury in the draw with Western Sydney, but could force his way back into coach Ian Ferguson's plans for Saturday.

"Thwaitey's been on the paddock most of this week and he's looking really good," said Burns.

"The medical staff will know more on whether or not he's a chance for the weekend, but to see him running again is great and we'd welcome him back with open arms.

"With Thwaitey, he offers that calmness on the ball, that ability to play out from the back and I think we've missed him in the last few weeks.

"His form speaks for itself as he's been back in the Socceroos (squad) and doing ever so well.

"When he's fit and ready, without risking anything, the sooner the better for us."

A-League table

# Team MP D P
1 27 +20 57
2 27 +26 54
3 27 +3 44
4 27 +1 41
5 27 +4 35
6 27 -2 32
7 27 -10 32
8 27 -15 31
9 27 -9 27
10 27 -18 27