Perth Glory might have fallen just short of achieving a perfect record from their past three games, but coach Kenny Lowe could not be more proud of his battle-weary squad.
Glory played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Hyundai A-League leaders Western Sydney at nib Stadium on Saturday night, the club’s third game in the eight days following back-to-back wins against Central Coast and Melbourne Victory earlier in the week.
Some players such as Michael Thwaite, Alex Grant and Diogo Ferreira gutsed out every single minute of those three matches and their resilience has helped Glory claim seven out of a possible nine points on offer and resurrect the team’s once flagging finals aspirations.
“The players were magnificent to back up the way they’ve backed up and do the things they’ve done,” Lowe said.
“I think it’s fair play to them and it shows what genuine people we’ve got in our squad. They deserve every credit they get for the last seven days.
“I’m so proud of the players…some of them ran out of petrol with 15 minutes to go, but that’s to be expected.”
Glory went agonisingly close to handing the Wanderers their first defeat since Round 3, but brilliant goals from Brendon Santalab and former Perth winger Mitch Nichols cancelled out a second-minute penalty to Diego Castro and a cracking free kick from youngster Mitch Oxborrow on the hour mark.
Lowe stopped short of declaring his side’s form over the past week as a warning to other A-League teams, but expected the results would provide a huge confidence boost heading into the second half of the season.
“It just shows how well we did on the day because we started off with a certain shape in the first half and for 20 minutes we caused them problems,” Lowe said.
“They sussed it out, we changed the shape in the second half and we created opportunities and chances.
“We’ve played all the top sides and we’ve done very well. I think there’s been one goal in every game (except) only the Melbourne City game and they’re on fire at the moment.”
Lowe said midfielder Nebojsa Marinkovic (hamstring) was a chance to resume against Melbourne Victory on December 27, but has already ruled out attackers Sidnei (quad) and Guyon Fernandez (hamstring).