An emotional Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe has urged his distraught players to maintain their professionalism and integrity over the final two rounds of the Hyundai A-League season.
Lowe choked back tears as he spoke of the pride he had for his players after they bravely suited up for Friday night’s clash with Sydney FC just hours after learning they would not be taking part in the finals series because of a salary cap breach.
The emotional toll of the day’s events was evident on faces and body language of the Glory players as they slumped to a 3-0 loss to the Sky Blues at nib Stadium.
Glory hosts Melbourne City next Sunday before travelling east to take on Western Sydney in the final round of the season and Lowe expected his side to remain competitive in both of those fixtures.
“We’re professionals and we get paid to do a job and as hard as it is, that’s what we’re going to focus on for the next two games,” Lowe said.
“You’re disappointed, but you can’t let yourself down. You can’t let yourself down individually and we can’t let ourselves down collectively as a team, and when I say a team I mean everyone that’s in this together.
“It’s outside of our control, obviously, things that have gone on, but we’ve just got to stay focused on ourselves and stay true to ourselves and stay true to the competition because we’ve got to play teams and those results affect certain things that go on in the comp as well.
“It’s not fair on others if we just roll over. We’ll probably feel a bit sorry for ourselves in the next day or two, but we’ve got two days off, then we’re back into training and we’re bang at it again.”
Glory sits third on the table with 44 points behind only Sydney and leaders Melbourne Victory on goal difference. However, they will officially be positioned seventh after the final round.
Lowe said his players should be “massively” proud of what they had achieved this season and said their actions over the next fortnight had the potential to be a defining moment in the club’s history.
“We’ve got to deal with it with class because that will say more about us than anything else,” Lowe said.
“I think the ultimate thing is that we just all hang in there and stick together and finish off the season in a proud manner where…you can have some integrity about yourself.
“It’s a wonderful, lovely game and everyone cares about it and it’s down to us to make sure we look after each other and we’re together.
“This can actually be defining moment for the club…I think when you are down and when you are like that, that’s how you judge people. You see true characters and I think in the next few days we’ll see some true characters in our football club.”