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Glory coach Lowe wants to keep the mongrel

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/03/2017 Justin Chadwick

Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe has urged his players to maintain their mongrel as the club attempts to lock down third spot in the A-League.

Glory have lost just one of their past 10 matches but Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar are just one point behind them with six regular season games to play.

Perth will be aiming to continue their hot form when they take on Wellington Phoenix in Auckland on Saturday.

Glory boast one of the most talent-laden squads in the league, headlined by the attacking trio of Johnny Warren medallist Diego Castro, former Irish international Andy Keogh, and Socceroo Adam Taggart.

Yet Lowe said it's the group's desire and hunger that will ultimately decide whether Glory can keep hold of third spot.

"It's a mindset game. Players have got a choice - they can actually make that choice to stay where they are," Lowe said.

"That extra little bit of desire and mongrel to get them over the line comes from within. That's got nothing to do with ability. It's about character and attitude."

Lowe is still pinching himself that he was able to land the services of former La Liga midfielder Castro.

The 34-year-old Spaniard has lit up the A-League for a second straight season but it remains to be seen whether he'll extend his stay in Perth beyond this campaign.

"I saw a video of him playing against Real Madrid and Barcelona (before he came to us), and I started laughing," Lowe recalled.

"I said, 'He's not coming to us. Is he crazy? Surely he doesn't want to come'.

"But he's come for a life experience with his wife and children. He had a great time last year and it looks as though he's having a great time this year.

"We'll see where it goes. He might end up taking the oath (to become Australian) in a couple of years time."

Glory will again be without dead ball specialist Nebojsa Marinkovic (groin) but his absence wasn't felt in last week's 2-0 win over the Wanderers.

Wellington are within two points of sixth spot after an upset 2-1 away win over Brisbane last week.

STATS THAT MATTER

* Perth Glory have won their past four games against the Phoenix, the longest winning streak of either team in the history of this fixture.

* Glory are undefeated in their past five away games against Wellington (W3, D2)

* Wellington's Alex Rodriguez has a passing accuracy of 85.4 per cent in opposition territory, the best of any player who has made at least 50 passes in opposition territory.

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