Perth Glory refuse to give up on A-League finals hopes - Kenny Lowe
They are getting healthier, their form is building and with superstar Diego Castro to return, Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe has plenty of reason to look forward to the last month of the A-League season.
Going back to the turn of the year and Lowe was in danger of losing his job, let alone getting his team back in the finals hunt. They lost five straight games including three where they conceded 11 goals without one themselves.
But Glory have been able to steady things to have now won two of their last three games, and three of their past six following Saturday night's 3-1 victory against the Central Coast Mariners at nib Stadium.
That has Perth three points out of the top six with four games remaining following the week off. They finish at home to Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar, and away to Newcastle Jets.
They are a chance of taking part in the finals still with Castro set to return from a calf injury for that first clash at home to the Victory on Sunday March 25.
"I think we've got a group of people who are really focused," Lowe said.
"We've had a hell of a disjointed year and a lot of guys haven't had much game time, but they can feel something happening and they want to make something happen.
"We get a break for two weeks now and then we roll into three more home games and one away game. Strange things can happen. The teams above us aren't really on fire so we are getting a bit of momentum."
A big reason Lowe is feeling better about his team's prospects and why they have turned their form around is the improved personnel available.
The signing of Neil Kilkenny and Dino Djulbic has been significant, as has the return of the likes of Shane Lowry, Chris Harold and Adam Taggart.
The fact that trio started on the bench against the Mariners is a huge positive Lowe sees while the form of Joel Chianese who scored his first two goals of the season in the 3-1 win highlights his value.
"When you're at a stage of having Shane Lowry, Chrissy Harold and Adam Taggart on the bench, for the first time ever in the season we've got real pressure on for places," Lowe said.
"He [Chianese] was out for 12 weeks with a broken collarbone and he feels as though as he's getting there but now we only have four games left in the season."