Garcia holds off veteran players too long to make a comeback

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After utilising a large portion of under 23s in his lineup, Perth Glory coach Richard Garcia admits it may have been the downfall that contributed to an unforeseeable comeback  at HBF Park.

Glory refused to go down without a fight in a 1-2 loss to the Central Coast Mariners that was end-to-end the full 90 minutes.

The Blue and Gold snuck in two quick goals in the opening half of the game that Glory simply could not overcome.

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Garcia said the young guns must learn to handle defensive pressure.

“We started with a young team tonight that probably lacked that experience to possibly break it down,” he said.

“They kept a lot of good possession but probably didn’t fashion as many chances as we would’ve liked in that first half and they [the Mariner’s] sort of sat back and caught us on the counter attack and that’s something these younger guys will come up against and work out how to break that down, it’s something we can work on.”

The second half of the match brought on team Captain Diego Castro, but it was not until a triple substitution in the 58th minute, bringing on veteran players Kosuke Ota and Andy Keogh, that things started to take a turn.

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It was clear the purple army were creating more chances for themselves, driven by the experience of the experienced players.

“You definitely noticed in the second half when the older boys came on we started to find solutions and made plenty of chances and really started to carve them open,” Garcia said.

“Its fantastic to know once we have our older guys on we have a great impetus in attack and I feel that those young guys will learn from that.”

Though Garcia may have regretted starting the match with six under 23s in an effort to “rest some bodies”, he believed the team still performed well.

“When you’re playing and relying on some of those young guys your not always going to be firing on all cylinders but I still thought they played well and I still thought they gave a good showing of themselves but it definitely helped when those older guys come on and steady the ship a bit,” he said.

“Tonight as much as the result was against us I felt that we played some good football and that we were actually on the front foot for most of it.”

Going ahead the team will look to focus of their own defensive tactics and concentrate on taming their visible frustration, which came out in their performance in the latter half of the match.

“We need to tidy up some things defensively and be a bit more focused on what we do without the ball,” Garcia said.

“We’ve got a lot to learn, a lot of growing to do and the boys have just got to remain in that same head space when they are [frustrated] and keep pushing forward.”

Feature Image Credit: Darren Speedie

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Breanna Redhead
WA based student journalist, covering Perth Glory for the 2020/21 A-League season
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