Scoreless draw leaves both coaches seeing positives

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Despite neither Melbourne City or Perth Glory managing to score, both coaches see the result as a step in the right direction as they attempt to chase down ladder leaders Sydney FC.

The Sky Blues currently sit 11 points clear of City at the top of the table, who themselves are two points clear of Perth, yet the Glory have a game in hand.

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Melbourne City coach Erick Mombaerts said he was proud of his team’s defensive performance. With the team appearing to have addressed their defensive deficiencies, having strung together two consecutive clean sheets.

“I want to congratulate our team about our defensive performance,” he said.

“We were very strong in conceding not too many chances.

“It was a very tough game and we had to adapt with two new players that played for the first time.”

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One such recruit includes Scot Jack Hendry who impressed in his debut performance, slotting in seamlessly to the central defender position, despite only having three training sessions with the group.

His addition should further bolster the back third of the field, which had been leaking goals up until the previous fortnight.

His inclusion saw Harrison Delbridge shuffled to the right back position.

Meanwhile, Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic said he was pleased with the result despite the team’s six-game win streak coming to an end.

“It’s a good away point, very good,” he said.

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“We were away from home and had two consecutive tough games – Western Sydney and now Melbourne.

“Backing up with the travel and heavy pitch twice now, it’s a real credit to the players resolve and attitude and I always thought there was a chance we could get a goal at the end.”

Perth have now gone fours straight matches and almost seven hours not conceding a goal, a feat the coach credits to his players.

“It was a very good team defensive display,” he said.

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“It’s a real unity that we have at the moment in terms of our defending and the players are taking pride in making it difficult for the opponent.”

The Glory have only conceded 12 goals for the season, the fewest of any team.

However, despite both coaches being proud of their defensive displays, moving forward, they will need to get the scoreboard ticking over if they hope to catch Sydney.

The sides will clash for a third time this season in Perth in round 22, in what looms as a pivotal game for final ladder positions.

Featured image credit: Melbourne City

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Michael Patane
Student at Monash University and lover of all things football covering Melbourne City in 2019/20.