• Tough encounter ... Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson (Getty Images)
Perth Glory is going to try to make history repeat itself and kick-start a run to the finals.
By
SBS EXCLUSIVE: Greg Prichard

31 Jan 2013 - 7:14 PM  UPDATED 4 Feb 2013 - 1:07 PM

The search for the way out of a struggling campaign has led the club back to last season, when wins in back-to-back away games over Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Heart put it on the road to the playoffs – and eventually a place in the grand final.

And guess what? Glory's next two games are away encounters with Phoenix at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday, and Heart at AAMI Park on Saturday week.

Midway through last season Perth was struggling before it beat Wellington 1-0 and Heart 2-1 to record a fabulous road double. It then won seven and drew one of its remaining 11 games to make the finals.

Wins in the elimination final, minor semi-final and grand final qualifier took it to the decider against Brisbane Roar, which it lost 2-1 in controversial circumstances.

Glory coach Ian Ferguson said he and his players had established those wins over Phoenix and Heart as a point of reference with the team needing to go on another run now.

Perth is in ninth place with nine rounds to go, although the compressed nature of the competition table when it comes to the bottom six teams means it is only two points behind sixth-placed Heart.

"Making the top four and getting a home game is beyond us now, but our aim is still to get into the top six," Ferguson told The World Game. "And the way the new structure is with the finals series, anything can happen once you get there.

"There's no gift for running first or second. You get to the finals and it's game-on.

"I've been preaching to the boys that if we can get two or three good results in a row then it can give you that momentum you need to get to the finals, and we've spoken about how we kick-started things with those wins over the Phoenix and the Heart last season.

"Now we've got back-to-back away games against the same two teams, when we need to do well again. We got two fantastic results on the road against those teams last season, and we have to believe we can do it again. We know it can be done, because we've done it.

"We've spoken about it, and now we've got to go out there and try to do it. We know it's going to be tough – the Phoenix are in last place and are fighting for their lives, and the Heart are just inside the top six.

"They're both going to compete hard, because they need the points just as much as we do. But we've got belief in ourselves and we're going to go all-out to get the results we need."

Injuries to key players are hurting Glory. Captain Jacob Burns and striker Shane Smeltz are out again this week. But the team does get several players back from injury and suspension after last weekend's 1-0 home loss to Brisbane Roar.

Ferguson says Glory has no option but to just get on with it and make things happen with the players it's got.

"I'm happy with way we're playing, because we're creating plenty of chances, but we're not converting those chances," he said.

"If we can change that, things will turn around, and I believe that if we keep creating chances we will start putting them away.

"We've got to start picking up results sooner rather than later, and we're good enough to do that. We're only one game out of the top six, and we know what we're capable of doing if we make it there."