Lowe’s blue collar revolution in the West

Perth Glory’s iconic purple shirts are set for a fashion makeover this season with coach Kenny Lowe looking for a blue-collar revolution at nib Stadium.

Lowe has claimed he is trying to build a no-nonsense culture at the Glory and the 52-year-old Englishman reckons the likes of Ruben Zadkovich, Youssouf Hersi and Richard Garcia can make that happen in the 2014-15 season.

With Jacob Burns, Steven McGarry and Travis Dodd all having ended their careers at the end of last term, plus Shane Smeltz’s departure to Sydney FC and William Gallas having been cut loose, Lowe has been forced to overhaul his squad.

Replacing that group are former club favourite Dino Djulbic, plus energetic midfield quartet Hersi, Garcia, Zadkovich and Mitch Nichols.

“We’ve had a remit this year to go get, what I call, blue-collar players,” Lowe said.

“Lads who’ve got no ego, who are quite prepared to roll their sleeves up and work, but also have got some qualities on the ball.

“You saw Andy Keogh today has made 40-yard runs to cover for people who have been caught out of position. Mitch Nichols, you know, he’s got great endeavour and great energy. Ruben Zadkovich is very similar.

“So I think that’s what the drive has been, try to get good people, hard-working guys but who are good footballers and I think you can see we’ve got that throughout the squad.”

The arrival of Nichols, Hersi and Garcia has provided Lowe with an interesting option, as they represent three of the hardest-working attacking midfielders the Hyundai A-League has seen in the past couple of seasons.

Hersi became a fan favourite at Western Sydney Wanderers because of his tenacious pressing, while Garcia often seemed to be everywhere at once during his Melbourne Heart stint in 2012-13.

Nichols was critical to Melbourne Victory’s early success last term, holding the Big V’s sometimes unwieldy striker-less formation together with his tireless run in midfield.

Lowe is planning to use that trio of players, plus the likes of Nebojsa Marinkovic, Diogo Ferreira and Daniel De Silva in a diamond midfield this season, with Zadkovich and Rostyn Griffiths the main options to sit in front of the back four.

The plan is that the energy of Hersi, Garcia and Nichols will make up for the fact Perth will not have two holding midfielders, although after watching Victory beat his team 3-0 on Sunday, Lowe conceded there is still work to be done.

“We’ve got full-backs who like to go [forward], we’ve got players who are quite attacking minded, so probably the two defensive players – Rostyn Griffiths and Ruben Zadkovich – who add a little bit of balance into the team [and were rested with knee complaints]…they’ll give a little bit more offset to the cavalier style you saw today,” he said.

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