Defender Scott Neville believes if it wasn’t for Perth Glory’s unlucky run with injuries this season they would already have a Hyundai A-League Finals Series berth locked up.
Heading into the final round of the regular season, Glory is one of three teams fighting for the final spot in the top six.
Sixth-placed Western Sydney Wanderers (33 points), who host Adelaide United on Sunday, are in the box seat but any slip-up would allow either Glory or Brisbane Roar (both 32 points) to take the spot.
And in a mouth-watering twist, Glory host Roar on Saturday night in a Round 27 blockbuster.
“The last six to eight weeks we’ve really hit our straps,” Neville told https://www.a-league.com.au/ on Wednesday.
“Maybe that coincides with the fact we’ve got all our players back….it’s just a shame we didn’t hit our straps earlier.
“Ideally, we’d love it to be in our own hands but we can’t control that now we just have to make sure we do our job and beat Brisbane on Saturday night.
“And then hopefully Adelaide can do us a favour against Western Sydney on Sunday.”
In what has become a tradition for Kenny Lowe’s side over the last few seasons, Glory has produced their best form at the back end of the campaign.
Of their last six matches in the Hyundai A-League, Glory has won four and lost just one, a 3-2 defeat to champions Sydney FC.
“We beat Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Newcastle in the last few weeks and against Sydney FC, we lost but we beat them 2-0 in the second half,” Neville said.
“If we can get into the top six, which we’re really pushing for, I don’t think many teams would want to play us.”
A key contributor in Glory’s resurgence of late has been striker Adam Taggart.
Injury has restricted the Caltex Socceroos attacker to just 13 appearances but he’s still managed a return of seven goals, with four of those coming in his last five outings.
“I was at Newcastle with Taggs when he won the golden boot for that season. It’s pretty clear to see he’s a pretty clinical striker and when he’s fit he bangs the goals in,” Neville said of Taggart.
“He’s been a real miss for the games he hasn’t played this season but now he’s in hopefully, he can continue his good form.
“It’s a shame that he was injured for such a large portion of the season because I honestly believe if he had been fit and scoring goals, he’d be a huge chance to go to another World Cup.
“He’s one of the best strikers I’ve played with.”