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Glory want to finish bad week on a high

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/01/2017 Justin Chadwick

Perth Glory will be aiming to put a nightmare week behind them when they take on the Jets in Sunday's A-League clash in Newcastle.

Glory were dealt a huge blow on Wednesday when star defender Josh Risdon confirmed he would be leaving the club at season's end.

And the Rhys Williams saga continues to cause the club headaches, with the short-term future of the former Socceroos defender still up in the air after Perth denied his transfer request to Sydney.

On the field, Glory have enjoyed a mini revival over the past three weeks, securing vital draws on the road against Melbourne City and Western Sydney, before beating Wellington at home last week.

Glory will be aiming for a slice of revenge against the Jets, who ended Perth's 10-game unbeaten run at home with a 2-1 victory at nib Stadium on December 10.

Coach Kenny Lowe described that performance as the worst under his watch, but he's confident his team are in much better shape this time around.

"That's the past," Lowe said.

"This is a game that's a good game for us. We've had a decent few performances in the past three weeks. We'll go there with positivity and optimism."

The Jets enter Sunday's match full of confidence following last week's 3-2 win over Brisbane.

Glory started the season as one of the Championship favourites given their star-studded squad.

But the club entered round 15 in fifth spot - a whopping 12 points adrift of second-placed Victory.

In-form striker Adam Taggart is confident the club can still mount a title challenge from where they sit.

"It's not time to panic just yet," Taggart said.

"There's still a long way to go. We just need to find a run of form.

"I think there's still a lot more to come. I think it's pretty obvious to everyone we haven't reached our full potential yet."

Taggart has scored five goals from nine games this season, including three in his past four matches.

The 23-year-old won the golden boot while playing for Newcastle in 2013/14, before spending two injury-ravaged years in England.

Taggart's second stint at Perth Glory started badly when a calf injury grounded him earlier this season, but he's back firing on all cylinders now.

"I came back here to get a good run of games and find my love for the game again," Taggart said.

"After being able to play regular football over the past month, it's been really positive for me."

STATS THAT MATTER

*Newcastle Jets are on target with 41.8 per cent of their shots on goal from outside the 18-yard box this season, the most accurate of any team in the competition.

*Perth Glory are undefeated at Hunter Stadium (W5, D2) since a 2-0 loss in November 2011.

*Newcastle's Andrew Hoole enjoys a shooting accuracy of 80 per cent so far this season, the best of any player to have attempted at least 20 shots at goal.

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