Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Glory coach fumes over dirty tag
By Justin Chadwick
Perth coach Ian Ferguson says he's "sick and tired" of people labelling his team dirty, claiming Glory players are being unfairly punished due to their reputation.With the likes of no-nonsense trio Jacob Burns, Dean Heffernan and Steve Pantelidis in their ranks, Perth are known as one of the more physical teams in the A-League.Their next opponents - Sydney FC - are bracing themselves for a rough-and-tumble encounter in Sunday's clash at ANZ Stadium.Ferguson joked his players would set out to "kick" star Sydney midfielder Alessandro Del Piero off the park in a bid to curb the star Italian's influence.But the former Rangers player quickly turned more serious when addressing his team's rough-house reputation."I hear the same crap every year to be honest with you, and I'm getting sick and tired of it," Ferguson said on Friday."We're actually a better footballing team than people give us credit for."You have all been saying we're a dirty team, we kick everybody off the park and we're too physical."Go and look at the stats."The stats that I've got tell us we're not the dirtiest team in the league. There's four teams above us."Glory skipper Burns has accumulated three yellow cards from as many games this season, but Ferguson said two of those bookings weren't warranted.Del Piero has scored two goals and Perth have plans to curb his impact."You just can't give a player like Del Piero time and space on the ball. He'll crucify you," Ferguson said."The plan isn't to go there and kick him, but to make sure we don't give him that much room."Ferguson said he would decide on Saturday whether to include fit-again defender Bas van den Brink.