Battered Glory eye off A-League finals

March 26, 2013
By Justin Chadwick

They might be battered and bruised, but Perth Glory are confident of overcoming one final hurdle in their bid to make the A-League finals.

The Glory were in disarray last month after slumping to bottom of the table and sacking coach Ian Ferguson.

But the arrival of Alistair Edwards has breathed new life into last season's grand finalists, who will finish fifth or sixth if they can beat Adelaide United at nib Stadium on Saturday night.

Perth will enter the match severely depleted, with midfielders Travis Dodd (knee), Chris Harold (calf) and Liam Miller (suspended) all unavailable.

Star striker Shane Smeltz, who copped an errant boot to the face while playing for New Zealand last week, is also unlikely to feature after needing 15 stitches to repair the gash.

But the Glory will welcome back skipper Jacob Burns from suspension and defender Michael Thwaite from Socceroos duty.

Goalkeeper Danny Vukovic, who pulled off a series of stunning saves in Saturday's 3-2 win over Melbourne Victory, said last season's magical run to the grand final had kept hopes high among the group.

"It's very similar to last season when we were written off and made it all the way to the grand final," Vukovic said.

"We're confident. We're playing well and scoring goals.

"And if we can get the win, we're in the finals series and anything can happen."

Defender Josh Risdon is still riding high after scoring the winner against Victory in the fourth minute of extra time.

But the 20-year-old knows the team face a stiff task against fourth-placed Adelaide, who are still a chance of finishing third.

"All the boys will put their heart and soul into the game to try to get into the finals," Risdon said.