Ferguson hopeful of Glory transformation
Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson has urged his players to forget the nightmare of last season and focus on the positives for the 2011/12 A-League campaign.
The Glory performed well below expectations last year, winning just five games and finishing in 10th spot, which saw Ferguson revamp the squad in the hope of making the A-League finals for the second time. Perth won two of their final 25 games in 2010-11, but Ferguson said this year's group would improve as long as it moves on from that tough run, beginning with Sunday's season-opener against Adelaide United at nib Stadium.
"I keep saying this to the players - they've got to forget last year. It's a new beginning," he said. "We need to put last year behind us and move on and try to start the way we mean to go on.
"There's a lot of positives to come out of this pre-season, which I've been very happy with. So the signs are all good and we're reasonably happy. I'm happy with the way things are going and the boys we've recruited. There's a totally different vibe around the place to what there was last year."
Ferguson's off-season recruiting spree, which saw him improve the squad's quality and depth by adding the likes of New Zealand international Shane Smeltz and former Manchester United midfielder Liam Miller, has left him with some tough decisions to make for the starting line-up to face Adelaide. The coach has a near full squad to choose from, with the only injured player long-term absentee Victor Sikora.
"The biggest headache I've got now is trying to select a team because everyone has been great in pre-season," Ferguson said. "It's obviously a headache for me but it's a good one to have. I'm trying to find the right balance now and continuity and shape."
Adelaide have lost key players Marcos Flores and Glory recruit Travis Dodd, but Ferguson said he was still wary of the visitors' attacking threat through the likes of Sergio van Dijk and new arrivals Bruce Djite and Dario Vidosic.
"I've seen two of their pre-season games now and they work really hard, they try to put you under pressure and they try to make you make a mistake so they can capitalise on it," he said. "We know what the dangers are, we know they've got good players and have good mobility and energy in there."