Bleiberg praises comeback

Miron Bleiberg believes the Gold Coast's ability to come from two goals down and earn a draw against Perth Glory has given the Hyundai A-League new boys a massive psychological boost heading into the rest of the season.

Miron Bleiberg believes the Gold Coast's ability to come from two goals down and earn a draw against Perth Glory has given the Hyundai A-League new boys a massive psychological boost heading into the rest of the season.

Despite sitting on top of the table with four wins from its first five matches, United was made to look second rate in the first half as the Glory scored twice within the first 16 minutes and dominated before the break.

But, although disappointed not to come away with the win, Bleiberg was thoroughly satisfied his players kept their heads and peeled back the two-goal deficit through Bas van den Brink's 52nd-minute header and a last-minute strike from Shane Smeltz.

"I think today's game in the long run, we lost two points but character wise, and building wise, it probably cements the group," Bleiberg said.

"The atmosphere in the dressing room is (like they're saying), 'guys we did it and we can do everything after what we did today'."

"To come to Perth, a hungry team, with such quality, three Socceroos ... and we came from 2-0 down and we made it 2-2 and we looked the goods."

"I mean, in the long run, the boys know that whatever happens, whether it be next week or a final or a grand final, we can be 2-0 down and we're still good enough."

"(But) from the other side, the first thing I'm going to tell them is that we're not that good."

"The fact that we were 2-0 at half time, we're not the Gold Coast that everybody's scared of, we all have our weaknesses," he said.

Some of those weaknesses were cruelly exposed during the first period, when the Glory worked the flanks with skill, placing immense pressure on right and left backs Daniel Piorkowski and Adama Traore, who were both at fault for Perth's goals.

The Glory kept possession effectively and closed down their opponents when they had the ball, forcing United to defend deeply and pushing skipper Jason Culina into a deeper role where his ability to create chances for Smeltz was nullified.

But Bleiberg said his coaching staff and players didn't panic, as he moved midfield reinforcements in to shore up the full-back positions and disrupt the Glory's supply line from the flanks, with a more settled defence subsequently able to set up more meaningful raids into Perth's own territory.

After van den Brink's goal gave United some hope, the visitors to ME Bank Stadium kept plugging away, taking advantage of a lapse in concentration by Perth in the 90th minute to take a rapid free kick and allow Steve Pantelidis to cross for Smeltz to score.

It was a superb attack on the ball by Smeltz, the competition's top scorer with nine goals from six matches, rushing headlong into the six-yard box to make contact with the ball, colliding with Glory stopper Tando Velaphi in the process and concussing him.

Smeltz, though, just said he had to concentrate on his role in the side despite feeling the affects of a busy week, where he also scored twice for New Zealand in a 3-1 international friendly win over Jordan in Amman before flying to Perth for this fixture.

"I think I felt my legs in the start of the first minute," Smeltz said.

"So that was a test for me mentally as well as physically and obviously I'm glad to come through it and get the goal at the end."

"Probably wasn't my greatest game, I can say that but as far as the team goes, we showed great spirit," he said.