“You can see that mentality shift” – Tony Popovic’s fingerprints all over...

“You can see that mentality shift” – Tony Popovic’s fingerprints all over Perth Glory


Shane Lowry can already identify a cultural shift at Perth Glory just three matches into Tony Popovic’s tenure at the West Australian club. 

Glory are undefeated under Popovic in the A-League, winning two and drawing one of their opening three A-League season 2018-19 games.

Glory backed up their thrilling 3-2 defeat of Melbourne Victory a fortnight ago with a dominant 2-1 home win over Brisbane Roar win on Saturday.

For Perth, that win over the reigning champions at AAMI Park represented something of a watershed moment.

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Popovic told a post-match media conference that night that it was a win that can shape – or reshape – an entire football club.

Speaking on Thursday’s Daily Football Show ahead of their trip to Adelaide United, Glory defender Lowry said a change of mindset at the club was already palpable.

He explained Perth now have a willingness to attack opponents for 90 minutes rather than slide back into their shell, particularly in adversity.

“With us being in Perth, there’s different logistics with travel and all that sort of stuff, but in the NSL days, we were a successful club when we did win titles,” Lowry said.

“I think the boss wants to bring that back and even when we’re away from home – for instance, if we’re not playing well – it’s about staying in the game and trying to get a result.

“That’s something that we’ve tried to change. The Victory game, we got very nervy towards the end when we conceded and went 2-2, but we showed a lot of character to go up the other end and attack and score.

“The season before that, we actually got beaten in the 94th minute, so I think you can see that mentality shift on the pitch now with the players we have now.

“We want to attack teams in the 94th, 95th minute.”

Part of Perth’s success has been their reshaped back line, which in the opening three weeks of the campaign has consisted of Alex Grant, Tomi Mrcela and Lowry.

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However, after Mrcela was red-carded late against Brisbane, Popovic will be forced into at least one change at the back.

Matt Spiranovic has yet to feature for Glory since signing but has been included in their extended squad for the visit to Coopers Stadium.

“He (Spiranovic) is looking very good … he had a couple of injuries a few months back and he’s just getting back to full fitness now,” Lowry revealed.

“He looks great. That’ll be down to the boss with selection.

“He’s a great player, I’ve come across him in the national team as well a few years ago and you can see his pedigree and his football ability.”

Like Glory, the Craig Goodwin-inspired Adelaide are also unbeaten.