Perth Glory defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis will be searching for his first win against former club Western United on Wednesday night.
After a late start to the 2020/21 A-League season, Glory is in danger of missing its first finals series since 2018, where it missed qualification by just three points.
Aspropotamitis is looking forward to a second chance to best his old teammates.
“It’ll be good to come up against some old mates, but when you cross that white line it’s always about being able to be a bit more aggressive and all those friendships go out the window for 90 minutes,” he said.
“I developed some really good relationships [at Western United] last season, we spent a lot of time with each other in the hub last year in Sydney. We formed some relationships that we’ll keep for the rest of our lives.
“We’ll be looking for the three points because we really want to build on the win [against Victory] the other night and make a push for finals.”
Aspropotamitis has now made 12 appearances in purple, settling in nicely to the Glory backline.
Despite challenges in the early season, he’s found consistency within the group.
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Glory conceded three and five goals to start its 2021 A-League campaign, but since then has only conceded more than two goals four times.
This includes keeping Macarthur scoreless just two games ago.
Aspropotamitis believes he is beginning to create a strong chemistry with his fellow defenders.
“In terms of the guys I had around me on Sunday I’ve played plenty of games now with Kosuke [Ota] and Darryl [Lachman] as well,” he said.
“I think it’s just more now us getting used to this new system, taking as much information as we can as possible because we don’t have as much time between games to take it in.
“It’s about taking it in as best as you can, as efficiently as we can, and hopefully putting that into place for the rest of the season.”
Glory is now faced with the undesirable task of playing five games over 18 days.
While it will be a huge challenge, its not one the side hasn’t had to face its fair share of times across a difficult but formative 2021 season.
“There’s been some challenges this year of the amount of games we’ve had in such a short time,” Aspropotamitis said.
“The coaches have been looking out for everyone. There’s been a bit of rotation this season and players being rested. That kind of interrupts the continuity a little bit, but when you’ve got one game a week in a normal A-League season you can afford to keep the same players.
“This year at times, we’ve had three games a week, so we need to keep bodies fresh. Maybe that signals why we’ve had a few issues in [defence], but we’ve been able to have a good formula in the last game so hopefully that puts us in good stead for the rest of the season.”
Glory will now play four home games straight before travelling to Auckland to tackle the Wellington Phoenix.
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