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Lowe backs Castro as A-League's best again

NZN 27/04/2017 Justin Chadwick

Kenny Lowe believes it would be embarrassing for the A-League if star Perth Glory midfielder Diego Castro doesn't win a second-straight Johnny Warren medal.

Castro is one of the favourites for the top individual honour after producing another stellar season.

Sydney's Milos Ninkovic, Victory duo Marco Rojas and James Troisi, and Newcastle's Andrew Nabbout are others in the mix.

Glory coach Lowe is adamant Castro, who is yet to decide on his future beyond this season, should be the first man in the A-League era to claim back-to-back awards.

"He's the best player in the league by a country mile," Lowe said on Thursday.

"I think if he doesn't (win it), it's a bit embarrassing."

Castro looms as a key figure in Saturday night's semi-final showdown with Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium, with Glory quietly confident of pulling off an upset.

The Sky Blues are the hot title favourites after losing only once all season, on the way to tallying a record points haul and breaking numerous other records.

However, Lowe is dreaming of a fairytale finish for the Glory.

"Sydney want to create history. They'd be devastated if they don't," Lowe said.

"Everyone's talking about them being the best team ever, and rightly so.

"But the bottom line is you've got to win something.

"It's a Cup game, and that's the beauty. There's a lot of romance in the Cup.

"Why can't there be romance with us? A little bit of a dream and get to the grand final."

Sydney have beaten Perth in all three regular season games this season, racking up 11 goals and conceding just two in the process.

For the Glory to turn around that poor record, they'll need the likes of Castro, captain Rostyn Griffiths, and forwards Andy Keogh and Adam Taggart to be firing on all cylinders.

Lowe and Sydney coach Graham Arnold have taken subtle digs at each other at various points in recent years.

But the two coaches have a great level of respect for each other, and Lowe is looking forward to locking horns once again.

"Arnie's quite shy and introverted. He's a nice guy," Lowe said.

"(We've exchanged) the odd message and phone call.

"When I got this job, he actually rang the club and put in a good word for me.

"It's probably because he knows he beats me every time.

"Maybe we'll change it this week."

Lowe is urging his players to enjoy the experience of being part of a big-game final, rather than drown in the pressure.

"In any walk of life, if there's no giggle get out of there," Lowe said.

"It doesn't matter what you do - whether it's engineering or this.

"You've got to come to work and enjoy yourself.

"If you don't enjoy yourself - look for another job."

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