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Perth primed for a year of living gloriously


Perth Glory, the free-scoring side that epitomise this splendid A-League season, are nicely placed to give themselves their best shot at capturing the elusive title.

After reaching two grand finals in 2011 and 2019, Perth have set this season's competition alight not so much by the quantity but the quality of most of the 18 goals they have scored.

Richard Garcia's men are fifth on the ladder with 12 points - six fewer than Central Coast Mariners - but they have three games in hand on the leaders whom they entertain on Tuesday.

Which is remarkable when you consider that the first-team squad have been in quarantine for longer than any other team in the competition.

Perth were in sparkling form on Friday night when they despatched a very strong Brisbane side with a 3-1 victory that was built on three splendid goals from their two most exciting players: master craftsman Diego Castro and deadly finisher Bruno Fornaroli.

With the steady and uncompromising Neil Kilkenny providing the cover and the drive in midfield to allow the two 'lusty Latinos' from Spain and Uruguay to cause their special brand of havoc up front, Garcia can justifiably hope that this might well be the club's year of living gloriously.

Not surprisingly, Garcia describes his titanic trio as "winners" whose strong mentality is rubbing off on the rest of the team.

Perth in a way took a punt on Garcia, who had a playing career many young footballers can only dream of but was untried at this level of coaching.

The fact that he had such a decorated career, that he was familiar with the club system after coaching at junior level and that he was a West Australian most probably got him the job.

Garcia has not disappointed the club because he is emerging from his baptism of fire with flying colours.

He is not only giving his team a platform for making a serious threat for the championship but doing it in a style that is perhaps more pleasing on the eye than that shown by his pragmatic predecessor Tony Popovic, who left the club last year after two seasons.

Perth's attacking approach could carry a few risks because in their manic drive to score as many goals as possible they sometimes leave themselves open at the back, especially when they face teams that can counter-attack well.

Perth's 18 goals gives them an average of three goals a game but they also conceded 13 goals which is more than two goals a game.

Garcia admitted the team could do better defensively but pointed out that of the 13 goals conceded almost half of them came in one match ... the 5-4 defeat to Western United in round two.

"You always wish to be solid defensively and we need to organise ourselves a bit better in that area," Garcia said.

"Okay, we are a strong attacking side and we want to become a team that everybody would want to come and watch.

"However that does not mean we shouldn't be good defensively."

In a way Perth are throwing the gauntlet at other teams.

It is as if they are telling their A-League rivals: 'If we concede a goal we are good enough to score two'.

"Real Madrid's 'Galacticos' were like that because they knew that if they conceded five goals they would score seven," Garcia said.

"Our approach could be a bit like that, yes."

Source SBS The World Game