Why Glory’s goal-scoring well has run dry

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Since scoring 15 goals in four victories over Christmas and the new year Perth Glory’s incredible form has come to a stand-still, after consecutive 0-0 draws.

It’s the first time Glory have recorded consecutive 0-0 draws in over a decade, since the opening three rounds of the 2007/08 season in which they drew all three games 0-0.

The most recent result against Adelaide at HBF Park on Wednesday night meant Glory’s gap on top of the table was reduced to two, with Sydney FC storming into contention for the premiers plate.

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“I think overall it was a tough game in tough conditions,” said Tony Popovic, coming in from the thunder and rain.

“It was wet and windy, a tight match.

“There weren’t many chances and we always felt it would come down to one goal if any, and unfortunately we couldn’t get it.”

Instead the Glory endured their second goalless draw in a row.

The sudden drop in form and loss of the ability to score freely was an unforeseen twist in the tale of Glory’s season, but Popovic says the packed fixture schedule has played its part in affecting matches across the whole league.

“I think in general if you look at all the matches the tempo is not quite the same [as before the fixture pileup],” Popovic said.

“We get a point here, we got a point the other day in Melbourne, it’s a busy period for everyone.

“Tonight the conditions were different, the ball was moving very quickly, but you felt tonight no one really had a chance to get a foothold in the game or get their foot on the ball.”

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In Glory’s last two games Popovic has named two different attacking lines; firstly against Melbourne City Diego Castro played in behind Andy Keogh and Joel Chianese up front, then against Adelaide Chianese retained his position alongside Brendon Santalab, with Jake Brimmer replacing Castro.

Popovic used neither of these variations of attacking line-ups in the previous four matches in which his side scored 15 goals, suggesting further tinkering is needed if Glory are to nail down an attack capable of scoring at will.

The January fixture frenzy continues into the weekend where Glory face Newcastle just days after their draw against Adelaide, and Popovic will be earmarking the clash as an opportunity to roar back into gear and leave the sluggish run of form in his rear view mirror.

“We’ve got to recover from this game, we’ve got another game on Sunday against Newcastle and we’re all looking forward to it,” Popovic said.

“We’ve come through we believe unscathed from what the medical department has just told us, so now it’s about recovering and getting ready for another match on Sunday.”

“We know it will be difficult, but I’m sure we’ll make it difficult for Newcastle as well.”

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Feature image credit: Vision Inspired Photography

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Matthew Comito
Matthew Comito
Football nut, student journalist and firm believer that Berisha dived in the 2012 A-League Grand Final. Covering Perth Glory for the 2018/19 season.

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