Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson insists attack will be the home side’s best form of defence against Melbourne Victory on Saturday night.
Strike duo Marco Rojas and Archie Thompson have been all but unstoppable for the Victory this season, but Ferguson is adamant their threat can best be nullified by keeping them on the back foot.
“Victory are a team that are on a high at the moment, playing good football and getting good results,” he said.
“But we’re at home where we’ve only lost once this year and we’re pretty confident in our own backyard, so let’s take the game to Victory.
“Rojas, Archie and (Marcos) Flores are on fire for them at the moment and (Mark) Milligan is doing a good job as well as a screener in midfield.
“I look at how we can stop them and what we can do to make our chances count and get that win.
“It’s not just about them coming here and us trying to shut up shop, it’s about us as well.
“We’ll be doing everything we can to get a good result for our fans and hopefully get on a run and push ourselves up into that top five.”
And although Glory have now won only two of their past 11 games, their coach feels they are more than capable of making a decisive late surge during the final third of the season.
“As I keep saying, I don’t feel that we’re that far away,” Ferguson said.
“I think we just need to tweak a couple of little things here and there and cut out the silly mistakes because every time we make a mistake at the moment, we seem to be getting punished for it.
“We’ve got to make sure that we’re tight and difficult to beat and keep our discipline.
“We are creating a lot of chances, but unfortunately they’ve not been going in, but I’m confident that’ll come.
“If we keep believing in what we’re doing and stick to the gameplan, we’ll turn it around.”
In terms of possible activity on the recruitment front, meanwhile, Ferguson said the club had missed out on young striker Francesco Stella, who signed for the Victory earlier this week.
But Ferguson said negotiations with another transfer target have now reached an advanced stage.
“We’ve put an offer to a player,” he said. “We’re just waiting on a reply from his agent, so hopefully we’ll have something done by Monday.
“We tried to get Stella, but unfortunately it never materialised because he’d already signed for another club.
“The contract had been sent out before we even got him on the phone so that was disappointing for us, but good for the club that have got him.”
Ferguson was less forthcoming in terms of his team selection for the Victory clash, saying key defender Michael Thwaite is close to regaining full fitness having been sidelined for three weeks by a calf strain.
“We’re obviously close with Thwaitey in terms of whether he’s going to be in or out,” he said. “We’re going to give him every opportunity to prove his fitness.
“He’s been working very hard behind the scenes doing a lot of rehab, so we’ll see how he reacts to today’s session and make the call on him tomorrow.”
Jesse Makarounas, 18, is widely expected to complete a move from Glory to Victory early next week having found first-team opportunities difficult to come by at nib Stadium.