Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson says he is proud of the 'character' shown by his team in the absence of first-choice trio Jacob Burns, Shane Smeltz and Steve Pantelidis.
erth Glory coach Ian Ferguson says he is proud of the 'character' shown by his team in the absence of first-choice trio Jacob Burns, Shane Smeltz and Steve Pantelidis.
The Glory conceded the first goal against Newcastle in just the fifth minute when Tiago Calvano netted, but led at half-time courtesy of Steve McGarry's 10th-minute strike and Nick Ward's 37th-minute effort.
Substitute Chris Harold then came on and scored the winner after former Perth defender Josh Mitchell looked to have earned the visitors a point with a 70th-minute toe-poke.
Ferguson said he was proud of the character shown by his team to come from behind first and then score the late victory.
"The boys showed good character tonight, obviously, going one down and them scoring to make it 2-2 and then getting the winner especially against the run of play," he said.
"I thought it showed good character tonight.
"We played really well last week and got nothing … it probably swung in roundabouts for us tonight getting a little bit of luck."
Both of Newcastle's goals came from set-pieces as the Perth defence struggled to cope without holding midfielder Burns and Pantelidis at the back.
Star signing Emile Heskey squandered several chances in front of the Glory goal.
Ferguson said his side struggled without Burns, who usually offers his back four protection.
"I don't think we played or gave the protection we normally do with Jacob being there because Jacob's normally the holding, screener and we normally let Liam (Miller) go do his stuff," he said.
"Tonight it was bit strange for Steve McGarry going there because he's played (number) 10 for the last year-and-a-half now and we then put young Jesse Makarounas in there, who is more of a forward-thinking player."
Despite Glory's dominance late in the first half, it was the visitors who had the majority of the running in the second period and looked likely to at least take a point from the game.
Perth appeared to take a 3-1 lead when Scott Jamieson put the ball in the back of the net on the stroke of half-time only to wrongly be ruled offside.
"I don't know how many chances we had, but the offside goal I thought that was a great move and well executed as well," Ferguson said.
"(Harold) gets 15 minutes and comes on, every time he's come on he's done really well, he's made the goalkeeper work and he's done it again tonight and got us the winner."