Alen Stajcic backs Glory to rebound from ‘bumpy’ start

Justin Chadwick |

Perth Glory coach Alen Stajcic comes up against his former team Central Coast in ALM.
Perth Glory coach Alen Stajcic comes up against his former team Central Coast in ALM.

Perth Glory coach Alen Stajcic is confident his team remains on track to become one of the competition’s best despite their bumpy start to the A-League Men season.

Glory have picked up just one point from their opening two games under Stajcic.

Perth were on track to beat Newcastle in the season opener, only for the Jets to snatch a share of the spoils with a stoppage-time goal.

Glory fought hard on enemy territory against Wellington last week before going down 2-1.

Despite picking up only one point across two games, Glory have faced just 24 shots at goal this season – the second fewest of any team in the competition.

Perth will be aiming to notch their first win of the season when they take on defending champions Central Coast at HBF Park on Saturday night.

Stajcic, who coached the Mariners for two-and-a-bit seasons before stepping down in 2021, is confident Glory’s new-look squad will soon gel.

“Everyone’s still positive,” Stajcic said. 

“We know there’s been probably one-and-a-half good performances.

“To know we can create as many chances as we have throughout both matches just shows we do belong towards the top.

“But ultimately football comes down to crucial moments and on that ledger we haven’t been good enough.

“I’m still pleased in how we’re tracking. 

“I always knew it would be a bumpy start. You always hope that you can get results during that period, but we’re going to have to work hard to get every point that we can.”

Stajcic is expected to stick with goalkeeper Oliver Sail despite the NZ international committing two costly errors across the opening two games.

His worst error was last week when his attempted pass to a teammate was picked off by Oskar Zawada, who subsequently lobbed the goalkeeper from long range.

The Mariners have opened their title defence with losses to Adelaide (3-0) and Macarthur (2-1). 

Only once in the history of the competition has any defending champion begun a season with more consecutive defeats – Brisbane losing four in a row to start 2014/15.

The Mariners welcome back 20-year-old defender Jacob Farrell from suspension against Perth.

Saturday’s match will mark the 200-game milestone of Glory striker David Williams, who started his career at the Roar and then joined North Queensland Fury, Melbourne Heart/City and Wellington, before linking up with Glory at the start of last season.