‘That’s an expectation we ask for’: Popovic welcomes criticism as Glory seek return to high standards
Perth Glory boss Tony Popovic says he's desperate to claim all three points over Melbourne Victory, a side experiencing a similarly disappointing start to the 2019/20 Hyundai A-League campaign.
Glory are one point ahead of Victory in seventh place on the table after the first seven rounds of play as the two sides prepare to face off at AAMI Park on Friday, 29 November (7:30pm AEDT).
Both Glory and Victory finished in the top three last season but slow starts to the 2019/20 campaign have left them both outside the top six, and Popovic says his side is confident they can start to turn it all around at Victory’s expense with a win in Victoria.
Read Popovic’s pre-game thoughts, the behind-closed-doors discussions helping Victory regain their feet, how Angus Thurgate and Newcastle plan to attack Western Sydney, Sam Silvera’s praise of the Mariners’ faith in youth and more in our 'wrap of the pressers' ahead of Round 8.
‘We know we’re close’: Popovic confident Glory can return to the top
Glory took six points from two games against Victory at AAMI Park last season, and the Premiers will be undoubtedly looking for similar success as they try to launch their resurgence.
“It’s a big game, a tough game,” Popovic said looking ahead to the Victory clash.
“They’ll be desperate for points, we’re desperate to points.
“They’re a massive club that at the moment is underachieving.
“We by our points compared to last year seem like we’re (also) underachieving, and that’s an expectation we ask for.
“These questions and expectations are fair on us because of what we achieved last year, we want to be that club that have you guys the media questioning why is it not the same as last year.
“We know we’re close, but we’ve got to take the performance which we know was good into the Victory game which is another challenge against another big club.
“You’ve got to relish these games in a great stadium against a great opponent, take our best game there and go with the confidence to get the result.”
‘We will show we are better’: Kurz, Victory use honest discussions to improve form
Melbourne Victory boss Marco Kurz says a series of open conversations held between himself and his players this week have led to a better understanding of what needs to be done to put a halt to their early season woes.
“We spoke about the [Adelaide] game, we were clear and honest because you have to speak about it,” Kurz said.
“I think we were on the same page that our attitude and way we performed was not good enough.
“I spoke with the whole group and had a chat with a lot of players, I think we were on the same page that we have to show from the first minute another attitude.
“The way we discussed was really good, it was always respectful but very clear.
“Everybody knows if we get no points it will be a tough season for us. Now we have the chance to play against a strong opponent who have similar problems with the points.
“We will show we are better.”
After a rather reflective week at Victory spent discussing what has gone wrong so far this season, veteran midfielder Leigh Broxham says his side have gotten to the bottom of a number of issues and are ready to bounce back against Glory.
“We spoke [to Kurz],” Broxham said.
“We had an honest conversation and said ‘we can do this better, let's maybe work on these things better and you’ll get a better response from players doing things a different way’.
“It was an open conversation of how we can all work better as a unit.
“It was simple little things. It wasn’t anything bad but it’s something we’ll keep to ourselves.”
Melbourne Victory host Perth Glory at AAMI Park on Friday, 29 November (7:30pm AEDT).
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Silvera delighted with Mariners’ faith in youth
Sam Silvera was one of four scholarship players to feature in Central Coast Mariners’s 1-0 win over Western United last weekend.
Central Coast’s scholarship quartet of Silvera, Lewis Miller, Gianni Stensness and Josh Nisbet all featured for the Mariners in the win over United which sent them into the top six, and Silvera says he and his young teammates will only get better as they are given more opportunities to shine throughout the season.
“It’s a great feeling, it’s good they’re trusting in us and giving us hope to go out and show what we can do,” Silvera said.
“We go out every week and try and do our best.
“First game, I was just getting used to it and getting used to the A-League and the speed of it.
“Now I’m progressing, I’m more comfortable on the ball and it’s good for me. I’m loving it.”
After the Mariners’ impressive display against United lifted them into the top six, Silvera says they’re determined to capitalise on the win with another strong showing against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
“They’re a very strong side,” Silvera said.
“They came up with a good win against Melbourne City, a great comeback, but we’re confident in our defensive ability and we’re building on our attack so I think we can take that into the game and show what we have.”
MATCH PREVIEW: Brisbane Roar vs Central Coast Mariners
Central Coast travel to face Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday (5:00pm AEDT).
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‘It’s a little bit annoying’: Thurgate eager for Jets to soar after two early byes
The last thing Newcastle needed after their impressive Round 6 win over Western United was a bye to halt their momentum, but Jets attacker Angus Thurgate says they’re ready to burst out of the blocks and put on a string of good performances from here on out.
The Jets have had two byes in the first seven rounds of the Hyundai A-League campaign, but with an uninterrupted schedule ahead of them they’re ready to pick up where they left off with a strong showing against Western Sydney at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday night.
“It’s a little bit annoying, we can’t really get a roll on,” Thurgate said.
“Some of the older boys are liking it, putting their feet up a few extra times.
“We can put it behind us now, we’ve got a good string of games coming up and hopefully we can get a roll on and get some points.
“[Western Sydney] have some good players around the pitch, they set up in a way that’s really attacking.
“If we can counter that it will suit us really well.
“They’ve been a good team for a while. They’ve got a good coaching staff and good playing group. It will be a tough challenge but one we’ll be up for.
“We want to put on a good performance in front of a home crowd.”
Newcastle Jets host Western Sydney Wanderers at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday (7:30pm AEDT). Get your tickets here.