Glory won’t rely on Victory record

Perth Glory midfielder Adriano Pellegrino believes his side has to be wary of a Melbourne Victory backlash when the two sides meet on Saturday night at AAMI Park.

Perth Glory midfielder Adriano Pellegrino believes his side has to be wary of a Melbourne Victory backlash when the two sides meet on Saturday night at AAMI Park.

Despite sitting in second-last on the Hyundai A-League table, the Glory have posted two of their four wins this season over the fifth-placed Victory, continuing a run of good results by Perth over the Victorian side in the past few years.

Fresh from a heartbreaking, but ultimately encouraging 1-1 draw with Central Coast on the weekend, where the Mariners finally broke down a resolute Glory defence three minutes from time, Pellegrino says Perth will travel east with plenty of confidence.

But the 26-year-old says the team cannot afford to rest on their laurels and simply rely on their good record against Melbourne as the Glory look to kick start a late run towards the play-offs.

“We’ve had a good result against Melbourne last time when we played there,” Pellegrino said, referring to a 2-0 win over the Victory in Week 2 of the season.

“So we’re going to go in very confident we can play well.”

“(But) they’ve hit some really good form,” he added, having seen the Victory strike force of Robbie Kruse and Archie Thompson completely dismantle Melbourne Heart’s defence in a 3-1 derby win last Saturday.

“They’re playing well and they’re a good side, so you can’t take that (good form) for granted.”

Despite injuries and suspensions hitting the Glory hard over the past two months, the Glory have managed two impressive performances in 1-1 draws against North Queensland and Central Coast in the past two rounds.

Featuring several members of Perth’s domineering National Youth League side from last season, players like Howard Fondyke, Josh Risdon and Tommy Amphlett have produced the goods in the seniors, helping it to produce the cohesive ball movement that was missing when Perth lost eight games in a row earlier this campaign.

Despite that, several controversial refereeing decisions have cost the Glory badly in the past two matches, but Pellegrino believes the unity of purpose the team has shown will soon translate into results.

“Over the last two weeks we’ve put in good performances and I think we’ve been robbed of our points,” Pellegrino said.

“(We’ve) done well against North Queensland and I think we should have had the points there and again on the weekend as well.”

“It’s been a mix up with players (being injured and suspended) but I think we’ve come through and the boys that have come in have showed it. The last two weeks has been good in regards to playing as a unit.”

“So (to get some wins), it’s just a matter of getting back to what we’ve been doing in the last few weeks on consistency and just working on it at training.”

Although Ferguson may opt to field the same starting XI that did so well against Central Coast, he has a few more options this week as skipper Jacob Burns (hip) and Todd Howarth (knee) both trained on Tuesday, while suspended trio Naum Sekulovski, Brent Griffiths and Mile Sterjovski are all available.

However key defender Andy Todd missed training again with his hip flexor injury and looks unlikely to play against Melbourne.