Andrezinho the man to stop

Perth Glory midfielder Andrezinho believes he's become a marked man when it comes to opposition defenders.

Perth Glory midfielder Andrezinho believes he's become a marked man when it comes to opposition defenders.

In a scintillating debut for the club against Adelaide United three weeks ago, Andrezinho produced a sparking display down the left flank as he tore the Reds' defence apart, setting up chance after chance with his incisive crosses.

Although the name Andrezinho means "Little Andre" in his native Portuguese, the performance was enough for some Glory supporters to refer to him as "Andre the Giant" after just 60 minutes on the field.

The 26-year-old hasn't been quite as influential since then over the last two rounds, but he still produced several telling passes in Perth's 1-0 win over Wellington last weekend, and a classy through-ball for Shane Smeltz should have resulted in a second-half goal, although the New Zealand striker blazed his attempt well over the bar.

However, early in the games against Melbourne Heart and Phoenix, Andrezinho appears to have been targeted for some very heavy tackles and the Brazilian playmaker believes this has been a deliberate attempt to curb his influence.

"Football here is very strong," he said on Thursday morning, gamely fronting a press conference despite his limited English. "Tackles are difficult."

"I think after Adelaide game, another team look at my football, my style."

"(They try) too much defend, (with some) unbelievable tackles. But no, no problem."

His coach, Ian Ferguson, also backed Andrezinho to overcome the roughhouse tactics as he prepares his side for this week's trip to Gosford to play Central Coast.

"He's that type of player," Ferguson said. "He's direct, he's runs with people and he can come from inside to outside. He causes a lot of problems."

"It's a physical league we're in and he expects that. He's fine, he'll be okay."

Ferguson also backed key midfielder Liam Miller to be fit to play Central Coast, despite the ex-Celtic man suffering from severe cramp to what appeared to be his upper leg late in last week's win over Wellington.

"Liam's good, he's fine," Ferguson said.

"He'll train today. He trained on Tuesday, which was good. It was just cramp so he's okay."

Ferguson wasn't completely happy following last week's win, saying his side's shape and structure was tested a little bit too much for his liking by Wellington.

But the coach refused to say whether he'd be making any changes to the starting XI in response to this and his squad selections have been equally cagey, with Glory bringing in Steve Pantelidis,.Adam Hughes, Evan Berger, Josh Risdon and Mile Sterjovski to a team that will be cut by five for the Saturday evening clash.