He’s seen off the richest squad in the league. But now Glory coach Kenny Lowe must do the same against the best side in the country in a winner-takes-all shootout in Sydney on Saturday night.
Can Kenny Lowe conjure a Glory miracle against Sydney FC on Saturday night?
In short, yes.
Let’s look at what the 100-game coach needs to have go right in order to engineer a miraculous win to qualify for the WA club for the grand final.
BELIEVE IN ‘CRAZY’
Kenny Lowe is one of the most quotable coaches in the Hyundai A-League.
His media conferences are must-attend affairs.
In one of those in late March, it was put to him that many pundits had already tied sky blue ribbons onto the Championship trophy.
“I’m probably in that majority, too,” Lowe replied.
“But does that stop people dreaming? Let’s just all wrap up now then, give it to Sydney and I’ll go on holiday.
“Crazy things happen in football, you know?
Glory have lost all three meetings with Sydney FC this season, conceding 11 goals and scoring just two.
But Finals are a fresh start and everything that has gone before is now immaterial.
Lowe needs his players to believe they can reverse those results when it matters most.
Two parts of the game plan Glory must execute well are:
1: Get Castro on the ball
The reigning Johnny Warren medallist is a wonderful player. If Perth are to cause an upset, the Spaniard will be at its heart.
Glory need to get the ball to Castro often and let him weave his magic.
2: Do. Not. Sit. Back
Perth tried this at home against Sydney FC a month ago and were comfortably beaten.
So, don’t park a bus in front of the Sky Blues rampant attack. It won’t work.
Come out all guns blazing and trust in your defenders that they can again lay the platform for a win after last week’s heroics.
Glory have to trust their strengths and that means playing attacking football themselves.
Glory did return home after Sunday’s win over Melbourne City (they toyed with the idea of staying in Melbourne but that plan changed).
Don’t underestimate the effect time together will have on this already tight-knit team as they sit back on a plane for eight hours over the week leading into the game.
They clearly enjoy each other’s company.
Living, eating, training, travelling and simply being together will only galvanise the players further.
Yes, it’s a lot of flying, but the bond they have is strong.
And this week it’ll only get stronger (and they’ve travelled so much already, what’s another couple of cross-country journeys?)
Sydney FC aside, Glory are the form team in the competition.
They’ve won their last three matches and lost just two of their past eleven.
Melbourne City came into week one of the Finals Series with just one win in four, and we know what happened next.
To stop the Sydney FC juggernaut, you need momentum of your own.
And Perth certainly have that.