Glory milestone man Chris Harold says Perth will look to exploit Melbourne City’s “shaky” defence in Saturday night’s crucial Hyundai A-League clash at nib Stadium.
Speaking on Thursday ahead of his 100th appearance in the A-League, Harold admits facing John van ‘t Schip’s side is a daunting task but Glory are confident of springing an upset.
While City has scored a truckload of goals so far this season – 13 more than the next best side - they have been susceptible at the back, with only bottom club Central Coast Mariners (32) conceding more than their 24.
“You look at guys like [Bruno] Fornaroli and [Harry] Novillo, they’ve been in very good form,” Harold told reporters on Thursday.
“You have to take specific care and analyse the way [City] play because they have confidence.
“But I think earlier in the season they were a bit shaky at the back and that’s definitely something we can take advantage of.
“We beat them over here in the [Westfield FFA] Cup earlier this year and that’s another positive for us.”
One player who could exploit City’s leaky defence is Glory’s returning Irishman Andy Keogh.
Harold said Keogh’s presence has lifted the mood around the club, as they look to make a late-season charge for the finals.
“Andy’s a great finisher, he’s a proven goal-scorer so I guess in terms of scoring goals it takes some pressure off the rest of us,” the 23-year-old said.
“But also his work-rate and hold up play, chasing lost causes when we’re under the pump, it gives the team a big lift.
“If we’ve been defending for five minutes and he wins a throw in by chasing a lost cause in their half of the pitch, it gives everyone some respite.
“So it’s not just his goal-scoring but his whole game which is important for us.”
Harold made his A-League debut as a fresh-faced teenager with Gold Coast United back in 2010 and admits he’s thrilled to be entering his big milestone match.
It’s been some effort to get to the ton so quickly, with the speedy winger juggling his football career while studying a law degree part-time.
“It’s easier for me [to do it now] than trying to pick it up a couple of years after not doing any study,” Harold explained.
“It’s slow going but I think the end result will be worth the wait. I’ve been at uni for five years now and got roughly another three left.
“I do have a passion for environmental law…it’s something I would like to work towards.”