Ben Gilby reports on both head coaches media conferences and Tom McCarthy delivers top quality photo action from the game Macedonia Park (15/1/23).
Above: Perth Glory’s Cyera Hintzen (right) battles with Wellington Phoenix’s Mackenzie Barry. Photo: Tom McCarthy.
Perth Glory head coach Alex Epakis was very much of the “glass half full” mood when reflecting on his team’s performance in their 2-0 win over Wellington Phoenix today.
Speaking to the media after the match at Macedonia Park, Epakis said: “It’s a performance that got us the three points, so you are always happy with that. There were phases where we were good, there were phases where we could have been better…I would have liked us to have been more clinical at times.”
Asked about the coming together of Ella Mastrantonio and Phoenix’s Emma Rolston that saw both players sent off, the Glory boss said: “I haven’t seen it (back) or had a chance to speak to Ella yet. The referee has reasons for it.”
Epakis was enthusiastic about the performance of defender Liz Anton, who responded in style to a challenge he set her before the game: “I told Liz today that I wanted her to be the best Kiwi on the field, and I think she liked that! She really stepped up and rightly so. It was a very good performance, it was calm and physical when it needed to be. Her and Kim (Carroll) really compliment each other.”
Perth now have a three-week gap before their next match away to Western United after the midweek announcement that Sydney FC are unable to stage next weekend’s game against the Western Australians and cannot find another ground to play it at until the end of March.
The impact of this on the Glory is huge with the game rearranged for midweek in a period where the club have a Sunday home game before travelling to Sydney and then another trip three days afterwards to Brisbane Roar – yet another example of inherent inflexibility when it comes to scheduling games for clubs who face huge travelling distances.
“I’m not happy about it. The APL made a decision to postpone our game against Sydney (due to the playing surface being substandard) and not being able to source another venue across a large state, and we’re now going to be punished by playing three games in six days across three different states, which isn’t fair.”
“It compromises the run we have to have, and its a well-being and safety issue. I don’t think it’s going to look good, and I’m not going to sit here and say it looks good. I’ve voiced my concerns (to the APL) but there was no reply to my email.”Alex Epakis, Perth Glory head coach.
“We have to maintain our intense load on a weekend. You can’t go three weeks without a game and expect to come back strong. We will look to play internally against our Academy Boys outfit and we have a very good Sports Science team here and I’ll look to be guided by them.”
Wellington Phoenix head coach Nat Lawrence was visibly frustrated as she reviewed her team’s showing at Perth today.
“We got punished for two mistakes which…we’ve got to hold ourselves accountable for,” Phoenix head coach Natalie Lawrence told media post-game.
“We need to stop making these mistakes that are leading to these goals and start taking our chances as well.”
Lawrence reflected that the huge travelling involved to get to Perth, along with the hot conditions was a factor, but ultimately her side were their own worst enemies: “We knew that the travel was going to be tough, we knew that the heat was going to be tough and we prepared as much as we could for it.
“There’s some fatigue amongst the girls [and] there’s a little bit of jet lag, but that’s not really an excuse that we’re willing to hide behind. New Zealand is where we want to be and where we want to be based and travel is part of it.”
The Nix boss also highlighted her team’s growth during the campaign by saying: “We had more possession, we had better pass completion, we’ve had more shots, we’ve had more final third entries again than any other game this season so we’re building and getting better and better.”
However, the reality is that Wellington are now well adrift at the bottom as the only team in the league without a win.
“Game eight and yeah one point on the board but…we believe that we’ve still got 10 games to fight for. As long as we keep sticking to our process then we believe the outcome will happen.” Lawrence said.
Ben Gilby‘s match report of the game can be read here: https://impetusfootball.org/2023/01/15/perth-take-the-distance-derby-glory/
Tom McCarthy’s Photo Gallery from Macedonia Park: