• Enthused ... Parth Glory captain Michael Thwaite (Getty)
Perth Glory captain Michael Thwaite says "the Kenny Lowe effect" is forcing the team to concentrate harder instead of slacking off at key times in games.
Greg Prichard

10 Jan 2014 - 11:07 AM  UPDATED 10 Jan 2014 - 12:20 PM

"That's a good title for it - the Kenny Lowe effect," Thwaite told The World Game.

"The standard at training is really important for any team, and the intensity has lifted dramatically compared to what it was before he came on as coach.

"That's one of his strengths – the ability to automatically get that sort of improvement just through his approach."

Lowe has been in charge of Glory for three games since Alistair Edwards was sacked as coach after an early-season drama which pitted Edwards against the senior playing group over a range of issues.

After a 0-0 draw at home against Adelaide United and a 2-1 loss away to Central Coast Mariners, Lowe racked up his first win when Glory beat Newcastle Jets 1-0 at Hunter Stadium last Saturday.

Glory returns home to host the winless Melbourne Heart at nib Stadium on Friday.

Perth's victory over the Jets featured a very animated Lowe on the sideline as he reacted to the ups and downs of his team's performance.

When it was suggested to Thwaite that Lowe had overt passion by the truckload, the skipper wholeheartedly agreed.

"Kenny's a very passionate coach," Thwaite said. "The standards he sets in training he wants to see reached in the game, and when that isn't happening he shows that emotion.

"But it's not a sign of frustration from him – it's a motivational thing.

"At half-time, when we were 1-0 up, he was very fired up. We've played games this season where our concentration hasn't been there for the full 90 minutes, and he is determined for us to improve on that.

"So after getting to the lead against the Jets it was very important that we showed the ability to stay there – and we did that.

"If we aren't doing what we should be doing on the field, Kenny reacts on the sideline, but it's a positive reaction.

"He pumps us up with his passion. He's determined not to let our concentration or our standards slip."

Thwaite said Lowe was still in the process of putting his stamp on the team.

"Every coach in the A-League is a different sort of character," he said. "Kenny's got his own way and he's getting that across to us.

"We're getting used to the way he wants to play – his philosophy and structures. We've only seen a little bit of that on the field so far, but his influence on how we play is increasing all the time."

Thwaite said Lowe had shown his worth by leading Glory from a crushing, New Year's Eve loss to the Mariners, when it was 1-1 until very late and Glory had been pushing for a win, to a gutsy victory over the Jets just four days later.

"Kenny is a very analytical coach, as well as being very passionate," he said.

"After the game against the Mariners he identified some clear points we needed to work on in the short time we had between games. He came up with a game plan for the match with the Jets and it worked."

Seventh-placed Perth could potentially rise to fifth with a win over Heart.

Glory is two points behind the sixth-placed Jets, which will also play on Friday night against fourth-placed Melbourne Victory at Hunter Stadium.

Fifth-placed Sydney FC, which is three points ahead of Perth but has a one-goal inferior differential, faces Western Sydney Wanderers at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday night.

Thwaite said Glory, having moved within striking distance of the top six again, needed to look at games like the one against Heart as contests it should go out and win.

"I know that in the A-League it's accepted that any team is capable of beating any team, but we need the mindset that we are going to win that game," he said. "Especially at home.

"We respect our opponents, and we understand that they are probably going to have some of that underdog mentality that has been good for us in our last couple of games, but we have to go out there believing we can dominate the game.

"We have to be confident and disciplined, and take that approach right through to the end."