Adelaide United defender, Dylan McGowan is expecting a difficult clash when the Reds face Perth Glory at nib Stadium in Round 7 of the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season on Friday night.
Adelaide will be looking to secure their first win of the campaign after recording two draws in their opening six rounds of the season.
The Reds snapped a four-match losing streak in a 1-1 home draw against the Roar last weekend, while Perth suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat against Sydney FC on the road.
McGowan attributed Adelaide’s slow start to a combination of new personnel and injuries, but believes the side is in a better position than at a similar stage last year.
“I think we’ve had a slight turnover in terms of actual starting players,” McGowan said. “Obviously there’s been well documented injuries to key players, but I think we’ve always been in games this season which is a positive.
“Last season we were getting beaten 4-2 at some points, but this year we’ve been competing really well in games.
“And we just need to pick up a few slack moments in games that have really cost us, but hopefully we can turn that around on Friday night.”
McGowan is anticipating a fired-up Perth outfit following their hiding at the hands of the Sky Blues last Sunday, particularly in the opening 15 minutes.
“I think always against Perth (Glory) it’s a difficult game so especially when you go there and they have been beaten it’s very tough,” McGowan admitted.
“The first ten or fifteen minutes is always difficult away from home, so it’s going to be a tough game and they’ve got good players that can hurt us.
“It’s going to come down to us being switched on at that time of the game.”
Guillermo Amor’s men have won their past two matches against Perth and will be eyeing for a third successive win in this fixture for the first time since August 2009, when the Reds won four straight matches.
United have prevented the Glory from claiming the three points on five of the last six occasions. In addition, Adelaide have also thwarted Perth from scoring multiple goals on all but one of these games.
McGowan also highlighted the importance of keeping a clean sheet, following concessions in all six matches this season.
“In terms of giving away chances we’ve been not too bad, but we’ve been getting punished for moments of slackness,” McGowan said.
“I think last week we restricted Brisbane (Roar) to a lot of shots outside of the box which is always positive.
“With a good goalkeeper like Eugene (Galekovic) he’s always going to keep most of them out.
“So if we can limit Perth’s chances I think it’ll go out a long way to keeping a clean sheet and obviously that goes a long way to achieving a win.”
The 25-year-old centre-back further revealed morale is high amongst the squad, despite the Reds’ frustrating start to the season.
“Everyone is together, even though it’s very frustrating being at the bottom of the league, which is never nice for anybody,” McGowan continued.
“But we’ve got that example from last year that if you do stick together this is what can happen (winning the Premiers’ Plate and Championship) so everyone is trying their best to stay positive.”
Adelaide United will face Perth Glory in Round 7 of the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season on Friday, 18 November at nib Stadium. Kick-off is at 9.30pm ACDT.