Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson insists he retains the full support of club owner-chairman Tony Sage despite his side’s disappointing recent form.
Last year’s beaten grand finalists have slipped to ninth on the A-League ladder after winning only two of their last 13 games, but Ferguson remains confident Sage is still backing him to lead the men in purple to a top six finish.
“I’m feeling pretty comfortable with Tony,” he said.
“He’s been very positive and supportive and I’m really happy with where I’m at with him at the moment.
“We stay in touch two or three times a week and I give him the run-down on the team in terms of what’s happening with personnel, suspensions, injuries and so on.
“We talk football and he can see, like everyone else, that we’re just frustrated at the moment that we’re not getting the results.
“But he can see that we’re playing decent football.
“I know I’m in the firing line and if results don’t go our way, I’m the first one to get his head chopped off, that’s the nature of the business.
“But at the end of the day, I’m comfortable with Tony.”
Ferguson went on to appeal to the club’s fans to keep the faith and play their part in helping drive Glory back to winning ways.
“There are a lot of disgruntled and frustrated fans at the moment but as I said before, please stick with us,” he said.
“We had this last year and we got through it with their help and support.
“Now let’s do the same again.
“I’ve said before that Perth Glory is a team I think should be in the top six every year and that’s what we’re aiming for.
“I still believe that we can get to the finals, I still believe that this squad is good enough to get to the finals.
“What gives me hope is that we are playing decent stuff, it’s not as if we’re getting smashed three or four-nil week-in, week-out.
“The belief and camaraderie is still there among the boys and we’ll put a good team out that will hopefully match or better Wellington this weekend.”
That crunch clash with cellar-dwellers Phoenix will take place at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday afternoon and Ferguson is anticipating a tough test against a side similarly desperate for points.
“Last time we went over there we won 1-0 but we know it’s not going to be an easy game,” Ferguson said.
“They’re sitting at the bottom of the league fighting for their lives and we’re just on top of them, so it’s a big, big game for both teams.
“It’s like an away game for them as well, going to Auckland and we’ve got to be positive in what we’re doing.”
The Glory coach went on to confirm that respective back and groin injuries will again rule out key men Jacob Burns and Shane Smeltz this weekend.
However, Dean Heffernan has recovered from his back problem and will rejoin the squad along with Josh Risdon and Liam Miller, both of whom missed the home defeat against Brisbane due to suspension.