Glory deny tough guy claims

Perth Glory striker Billy Mehmet has hit back at suggestions that he and his team-mates have established a reputation for being overly physical.

Perth Glory striker Billy Mehmet has hit back at suggestions that he and his team-mates have established a reputation for being overly physical.

Media reports from the east coast said Sydney FC were bracing themselves for an onslaught of rough stuff when the two sides meet at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

But former St Mirren striker Mehmet insisted that such a view was misguided.

"I don't know where they got that from," the 28-year-old said.

"If you look at the stats, I think you'll find we're actually only the fifth most physical side in the league."

Ironically, the Sky Blues top the table in terms of fouls committed during the opening three games of the campaign, while both sides have received nine yellow cards.

Mehmet, who has scored twice in three games this season, said his team were not physical, but could be if it was needed.

"If we need to be physical, we will be, but we're not a physical side," he said.

"We pass the ball around, that's the main thing we do."

Mehmet said his team had already discussed ways of trying to combat Sydney's marquee man Alessandro Del Piero, who has starred early in his Hyundai A-League career.

"We've spoken about it and obviously playing against Del Piero is going to be a good thing for a lot of the boys," he said.

"He's a great player.

"He can score goals and he can drop deep and create things, so we've just got to try and get in his face and stop him.

"That's the only thing you can do.

"But they've got other players who are dangerous as well, so it's not just all about Del Piero, we've got to stop the whole team."

With Shane Smeltz (hamstring) set to be ruled out for at least another fortnight, Mehmet is all but guaranteed to start against the Sky Blues and is quietly satisfied with both his personal form and the team's efforts.

"With Shane out I've come in and scored a couple of goals and I'm happy with the way things have been going," he said.

"I just hope I can continue doing that, but the main thing is for us to continue playing the way we have been as a team and go out there on Sunday and pick up another three points.

"We're passing the ball around well and creating a lot of chances and as a striker, if you're getting chances, you'll convert one of them eventually."

Glory defender Michael Thwaite said attack might be the best form of defence in terms of attempting to tame Del Piero.

"With Del Piero, it'll be interesting," he said. "We will obviously have to keep a close eye on him, but I'm sure he's not the best defender, so I'll try and use that against him just as he's going to try and use his talents against me."