W-League: Fit-again Kerr wants the full 90

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Perth Glory striker Sam Kerr is aiming to play the full 90 minutes against Western Sydney Wanderers at Ashfield Sports Club on Saturday.

Kerr is on the comeback trail from a hamstring injury which forced her to miss two games last month and Glory is carefully managing the star attacker’s return ahead the finals.

The 21-year-old played 30 minutes off the bench in her comeback game against Melbourne Victory on November 2 and was at her influential best during a scintillating display in last Saturday’s 4-2 win over the Newcastle Jets.

Kerr scored a brace and set up another in a match-winning burst in the first half that took the game away from the Jets, who took a surprise early lead through their captain Emily van Egmond.

Kerr exited the pitch just after the hour mark in what was a pre-arranged plan to ensure the speedy attacker suffers no recurrence in the lead-up to the finals.

“It’s feeling perfect, but you just don’t want to push it so while it’s feeling good we’ll keep it that way,” Kerr said.

“We’re just being safe. I don’t want to come back and redo it so (the plan) was to play 60 and hopefully play 90 next game.”

Glory’s win also guaranteed a home semi-final, most likely at Perth’s nib Stadium, and the club will claim the Westfield W-League premiership with a win over the Wanderers on Saturday.

But Kerr warned her side would have to play better than they did against the Jets, especially in the second half when the Jets appeared to have all the answers.

Glory also conceded two goals in a match for the first time this season, but Kerr refused to point the finger solely at her team’s defence.

“It comes from us, as strikers, it shouldn’t have got down there at the start so when we concede goals, it’s a team thing,” Kerr said.

“Obviously the defence will be super annoyed, but the whole team should be too. They are things we can work on, but we got the win so we’re happy.”

Meanwhile, van Egmond remained confident her side could still play a part in the finals despite the Jets slipping out of the top four following the loss to Glory.

The Jets are fifth on the table with 12 points, two behind defending champions Melbourne Victory and fourth-placed Sydney FC, but have played one and two less games than their rivals.

Newcastle will go into Saturday’s match against second-placed Canberra United (16 points) as underdogs, but van Egmond back her side to beat the odds and surge back into the top four.

“They’re must wins if we want to make the top four, so we’ll go back to the drawing board and see what we can pull out,” she said.

“If we can go back and get some wins, we’re in with a good chance of playing in the finals, but if we come out and display a performance like we did in the first half (against Perth), we’re not going to get very far.”

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