Saturday, January 26, 2013
Glory not feeling A-League heat just yet
By Justin Chadwick
Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson insists he's not feeling the pressure despite watching his side crash on Saturday night to their third straight A-League loss.Glory's 1-0 home defeat to Brisbane Roar left Ferguson's charges two points adrift of sixth spot ahead of Saturday's road game against Wellington.He remains confident of guiding the Glory into the finals, and has urged disgruntled fans to stick firm by the club."We're all disappointed - we're all frustrated," said Ferguson, who signed a two-year contract extension after guiding Perth to last season's grand final."But I would be more worried if we weren't creating chances."I know there's a lot of disgruntled fans at the moment, but stick with us."We turned it around last year and we'll do it again this year."I'm sure we'll get to the finals, and I'm positive we'll get to the finals."Glory created a number of golden chances against the Roar, but Brisbane midfielder James Meyer proved the difference with his 30-metre wonder strike in the 16th minute.Perth entered the match missing six of their first-choice starting XI.And although midfielder Liam Miller and defender Josh Risdon will return from suspension against the Phoenix, star striker Shane Smeltz (groin), captain Jacob Burns (back), defender Bas van den Brink (calf) and Dean Heffernan (back) are facing uphill battles to make the trip to NZ.Smeltz, who has been carrying a groin injury for some time, is the biggest concern and might need a short spell on the sidelines to fully recover."This time, he won't be back until it is right ... until he's 100 per cent fit," Ferguson said.Brisbane's win lifted them to within one point of sixth spot, but the defending champions face a stern test against competition leaders Central Coast on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium.The Roar will be boosted by the returns of star striker Besart Berisha and Shane Stefanutto from suspension, while Socceroo defender Jade North is also in line to play after his recent move back from Japan.Brisbane coach Mike Mulvey hoped the win over Perth would prove to be the turning point in his team's season."We got on a trot recently where we'd lost three games, and you'd think the world was going to end," Mulvey said."To walk away from here with three points is massive for us. It will give us some buoyancy. It will lift the club."It will build on that self belief we've been lacking for a good part of the season."But what we want to see now is that it's not a one-off. We want to perform very well against the Mariners."