Perth Glory roadtrip perfect timing

Friday, 14. September 2018

Perth Glory’s extended road trip for rounds 12 and 13 of the A-League season could not have come at a better time for the club.

It’s a terrific chance for new coach Kenny Lowe to spend some time with the entire squad; actually, the entire club.

As keeper Danny Vukovic put it – “to draw a line in the sand.”

Everyone involved in the club that the Glory can afford to take on the road trip should go – including injured players, management and owners, so that when they return for their January 10 home game against the bottom-ranked Melbourne Heart, everyone in purple is on the same page.

Just take a look at what Darren Lehmann has done with the Australian cricket team in a short period at the helm, simply by getting everyone working towards a united goal (being the best in the world) – and doing it together.

Glory will play the sixth placed Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium on New Year’s Eve and then the Newcastle Jets (fourth) at Hunter Stadium on January 4.

Vukovic believes the trip has come at the perfect time.

“We stay over there. It will be good to spend some time with the boys and to get away from the media,” he said.

“We’ve got two tough games, but two games we believe we can do well in, so we can really set up our season.

“Yeah [the past week] was certainly mentally draining; it was tough on everyone… and it showed in our performance [0-0 against Adelaide United on Sunday].”

Perth has now taken two points away from three clashes against Adelaide and sit in seventh place on the A-League table, just three points behind the Mariners.

The shining light for the club has been the performances of some of the youngsters in the side.

Playing big parts in games this season have been Matt Davies (18 years old), Riley Woodcock (18), Chris Harold (21), Jamie Maclaren (20), Jack Clisby (21) and Ryan (20) and Cameron Edwards (18).

In the post-game interview after his first game since taking the helm from the sacked Alistair Edwards, Lowe praised the young players in the squad.

And he reminded everyone of the club’s goal of becoming an A-League force over the next three seasons.

“You read the press, there was a three-year plan in place,” he said.

“Develop some youngsters, move forward this year and then next year we’ll get a bit better a then the next year we’ll be pushing for things.

“I don’t think that’s changed.”

It’s goals like that which Lowe will need to workshop with the playing squad.

Because as far as Vukovic is concerned, they want to push for things now.

The star keeper said on Monday that the players believe finals are on the agenda for this season.

“One hundred percent, we are very confident,” he said. “We are certainly united and we do believe we can play finals football.

“We come up to an important period of the competition where some good results will propel us into the top six.

“But if we don’t play well, we will lose touch, so it’s an important time for us.”

But maybe we shouldn’t read too much into Lowe’s comments over the past week.

After all, as he said himself, seven days ago he was a Glory fan watching the games from the stands with a beer in his hand.

Now he finds himself on the sidelines of a club that is in desperate need of a long-term visionary at the helm.

And he has a little over half a season to show the board of the Glory that he is the person to carry on the job beyond his stint as caretaker.

“I’ve had one game, its nil-nil,” he said. “We’ve been under the pump, externally and internally for a week.

“It’s probably not been the best place to be for all the players.

“They’ve gone out and done that; they ain’t got beat. Why all the doom and gloom?”

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