Glory poised to upset Melbourne City
Football expert Phil Moss believes the Perth Glory can cause a boilover by taking down A-League ladder leaders Melbourne City this weekend.
The Glory went into the World Cup break at the foot of the table but have turned their form around since the league’s resumption to sit just one point outside the finals places in seventh.
Moss, part of the Network Ten and Paramount+ commentary team, said the Glory’s improvement had been impressive.
“You know what, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion they might just cause an upset here. I know results haven’t gone exactly the way they would’ve hoped, but Ruben’s been saying it all season, their performances weren’t far getting results, they’ve turned them into some results in recent times,” Moss told Sports Breakfast.
“Macedonia Park is now a place opposition teams don’t want to go, and that’s exactly what [manager Ruben] Zadkovich wanted to build, and I think Melbourne City won’t get this all their own way.
Moss, who is also the president of Football Coaches Australia, heaped praise on manager Zadkovich, who was awarded the job on a full-time basis after stepping in as a caretaker last year following the departure of Richard Garcia.
“Although he’s a young manager, he uses belief in what he’s doing and he instils that into his players, so I think that’s been a really important ingredient for me to see,” he said.
“Adam Taggart comes off the bench in his first game, and I know he’s missed a couple since then through a slight injury, but his first game off the bench to score two, straight away that lifts everyone.
“Then if you look at the likes of [Salim] Khelefi, who I think has been absolutely outstanding, David Williams, he’s having a real purple patch in his career and leading by example, Ryan Williams is a fantastic player, [Mark] Beevers at the back, [Darryl] Lachmann, good leadership, they’ve added Jordan Elsey as well.”
The Glory’s turnaround in form has coincided with the move to their temporary home of Macedonia Park, with HBF Park out of action due to renovations for the Women’s World Cup.
Moss said the atmosphere at the suburban ground made life difficult for visiting teams.
“I’m always one that I’d prefer to play at a smaller ground with a great atmosphere than a massive stadium with no atmosphere, and I think Perth have turned Macedonia Park into a little bit of a cauldron,” he said. “The crowd is closer to the ground, I think a sellout is around five or six thousand there, they’ve been getting good crowds without sellouts, but still really good crowds that have created a noise and give them that energy.
“Opposition times have got to deal with a time difference when you go to Perth, and it’s very difficult when you’re kicking off a game when back home it would be about 10, 10:30 at night, so there’s that to deal with for the opposition teams, and if the crowd’s giving the home team more energy and belief, put those two together and you’ve got a pretty decent cocktail for Perth Glory.”
The Glory’s clash with Melbourne City kicks off at 7:30 AWST time tomorrow and you can hear the game on 91.3 SportFM.