Alistair Edwards says his Perth Glory side performed admirably against what he called the best team in the country after going down to 1-0 Brisbane Roar.
Alistair Edwards says his Perth Glory side performed admirably against what he called the best team in the country despite going down to 1-0 Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
The Roar enjoyed 65 per cent possession in the game but could not find the net until the 58th minute thanks to some resolute Perth defending.
The Glory coach said the loss of Shane Smeltz to injury in the 34th minute disrupted the team's plans, but maintained that marquee signing William Gallas would be returning to action next week.
New Zealander and the French defender have had to be utilised despite not being 100 per cent, according to Edwards.
"We're trying to get the likes of Shane Smeltz back to match fitness, we're trying to get William Gallas back to match fitness as well," Edwards said.
"So we're having to do it during the games.
"It's unfortunate because Shane was training very well and that's one of the reasons we went with three at the back and played two up front, just to make sure, with Shane Smeltz's experience working along with Jamie Mclaren, to put a bit of pressure on the Brisbane team.
"And I think we did that, on the whole, but the midfield movement of the Brisbane Roar is pretty good, it's probably the best in the country, so it was a good challenge for the boys."
On the Frenchman, Edwards said reports of his injury had been exaggerated.
"He's rolled his ankle, we'll find out what's happening when it all settles down, it's got a bit of swelling in there now so he's probably doubtful for the weekend," the Glory boss said.
"He's only got a light twinge. I think it's been reported that he's out for three games, I don't know where that came from.
"But he's just got a little bit of a sore calf, so there's a very good chance he'll be involved in the game on the weekend.
Edwards proclaimed Brisbane as the team to beat in the A-League this season, and was therefore happy with his team's overall performance.
"Very proud of the way the boys played," he said.
"We always knew it was going to tough to come and play against the top team in the country on their home ground, with some of the players coming off the bench making their debuts and things like that.
"But I think Brisbane Roar knew they were in a game, it didn't go all their way.
"Although we're disappointed not to get anything out of the game, it was okay."