Ben Gilby reports the thoughts of Perth Glory head coach Alex Epakis after his side’s 4-0 win over Newcastle Jets, and Tom McCarthy provides his usual superb photo gallery from Macedonia Park (12/2/23).
Above: Perth Glory’s Cyera Hintzen hits a cracker from outside of the box. Photo: Tom McCarthy.
Perth Glory head coach Alex Epakis was full of praise for his side’s “pragmatic” performance which delivered their third straight A-League Women victory as Newcastle Jets were defeated 4-0 at Macedonia Park today.
The result extended the Glory’s unbeaten run to four games, and Epakis was thrilled about his team’s reaction to the Jets’ domination of possession.
Speaking to the media after the match, Epakis said: “I’m really happy. We are in a good spot at the moment. We’re not in it by chance, we’re in it because we’re training hard, and the players are executing the game plan. They are rolling their sleeves up and playing a different game because of what happens. Those three goals, I couldn’t be happier.
“We’ve put a lot of emphasis into creating attacking options. Those players are working hard to put those chances away. All the strikes were great.”
The Perth boss was full of praise for the Jets and recognised that they caused his side some problems, particularly in the opening period.
“Credit to Newcastle, they have had a quick turnaround (from playing Western United on Wednesday). They started quicker, better than us, but we weathered the storm. You are always chasing the perfect performance. Until that happens, I’ll never be the happiest coach. Both last week (against Western United) and this week were wins with different performances.
“Last week we dominated possession, this week we were a bit more pragmatic, and we just had to do that.”
The Western Australian side approached the game in a more physical manner than normal, and Epakis told the media that this was all part of the game plan.
“We knew that Newcastle pose a threat with their physicality and their forward running off the ball and they got us like that when we first played them. We wanted to make sure we didn’t make those errors again. We had to match their physicality in the challenges, and we certainly did that.”
Perth are certainly having a season of two halves with the team beginning to reach their potential after a challenging start to the season results wise. The period has also seen them overcome the loss of leading scorer Rylee Baisden to an ACL injury. The Glory boss believes that his players’ reaction to that adversity has been a key part of their current form.
“There was a moment when we lost Rylee I put a challenge to the players that we needed another attacking player to step up. Not only one stepped up, a lot stepped up – Susan (Phonsongkham), Sofia (Sakalis), Cyera (Hintzen), Hana (Lowry), players off the bench, Hannah Blake who has come in. That’s really great for us and I’m really proud of that.”Perth Glory head coach Alex Epakis.
Epakis was full of praise for striker Cyera Hintzen, who scored two spectacular goals today. He highlighted the fact that she offers the team far more than just putting balls into the back of the net.]
“She is a very special player, she is very underrated. She is not someone who thrives with attention, but I believe she deserves attention. She has been a big part of this team for two seasons now. She does a significant amount of work off the ball – pressing. She is the perfect benchmark number nine.”
There was also another significant contribution from local-born star Izzy Foletta, who notched her first goal in superb style. Epakis is full of pride for the contribution made by the defencer.
“Izzy reached out just before pre-season started and she didn’t have a club. I told her to come in and train. She was faultless from moment one. Her energy and attitude is top class. She is relentless, she has a lot of go-forward, and offers a lot of energy. She earned her contract, had a set-back with injury (toe) but came back strong.”
Perth Glory are now seven points adrift of Melbourne Victory who stand in the last Finals spot. However, the Western Australians have two games in hand, and the Glory boss has a message for the defending champions.
“We’re going after them. We saw last season in the hunt for Finals, the season can pose hurdles. We’re motivated to finish the season as strong as we can.”
Tom McCarthy’s photo gallery from Macedonia Park
Ben Gilby’s report from Perth Glory v Newcastle Jets today can be read here: https://impetusfootball.org/2023/02/12/ruthless-perth-claim-the-glory/