20/04/2024
David Williams has been invaluable for Perth off the bench in recent weeks. PHOTO: Provided.

David Williams has been invaluable for Perth off the bench in recent weeks. PHOTO: Provided.

As reports flow about the future of Perth Glory off the pitch, the team’s focus lies firmly on it, as they prepare for an important encounter against a resurgent Brisbane Roar.

Alen Stajcic says there’s been no interruption to the team, after recent rumours suggesting that property developer Ross Pelligra is in the final stages his takeover of the club, insisting that the noise won’t affect his team’s performance on the field.

“Regardless of what happens off the pitch, it doesn’t affect what we do on the pitch,” he said.

“We have to go out there and train hard and play hard. The players have shown that, they’re passionate about the club and passionate about the city and wanting to represent the fans in a good way.

“Whoever holds the key to the club is not really relevant to how we train and play. We’re playing at 100 percent every time.

“Is there a feeling of security and stability deep down? Hopefully that comes, but it really doesn’t affect how we’re trying to play.”

Catch up with last weekend’s action on the A-Leagues of Our Own podcast

Have to stay focused

The Glory are now four games undefeated in the league, however Stajcic says there’s a feeling of missed opportunity after a late equaliser subjected them to a share of the points against Adelaide last weekend.

“[The Adelaide game was] a little bit bittersweet last week, obviously lots of good signs and a good second half [which was] leading to a good result,” he said.

“To get that killer punch again, it’s a little bit of a blow and especially critical considering the ladder, could have crept us up the ladder that little bit.”

Conceding late goals are becoming an unfortunate theme for the Glory of late, a trait that Stajcic puts down to a lack of focus at key moments.

“To lose points in the last kick of the game four times shows that we’re not focused enough in critical aspects of the game,” he said.

“We really need to focus on this game at hand for what it’s worth, because our season is on the line as we move forward.

“I think we’ve shown that we’re competitive, we’ve caught up to the pack, but we certainly haven’t overtaken anyone in the pack, so a lot of hard work still to do.”

A re-stocked Brisbane Roar

This week’s opponents are a Roar side that is full of confidence after their 5-1 demolition job of Melbourne City last time out.

They’re a side that Stajcic is certainly weary of, having just had a number of first team players return from injury in recent weeks.

“There was a period there, just before Ross left … where they lost a lot of key players,” he said.

“Berenguer was out, Henry Hore was out and a lot of their back four players were out, so they were missing a lot of key personnel during that period.

“A lot of those players are back in and you can see the difference in their team.

“Henry Hore and Mileusnic are extremely dangerous, and Jay O’Shea is probably one of the classiest midfielders in the league, so certainly enough in their team to threaten anyone.

Stajcic is adamant that coming up against former Perth Glory boss Ruben Zadkovich in his new colours hasn’t been a factor during their preparation.

It’s a sentiment that is echoed by recent super-sub, David Williams.

“I’m sure Ruben’s very keen to get back here and prove a few points that he’s probably got in the back of his head,” he said.

“But I’m not focused on that, I don’t think anyone here is, we’ve just got a job to do.

“We’ve got our gameplan, our role and whoever’s in the box or on the field – we don’t really think about that personnel, so we’ll just be playing our own game.”

That game against the Brisbane Roar will be played on Saturday night at HBF Park.

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