Pressure hot as Glory target clean sheet

Justin Chadwick
Liam Reddy says Perth Glory are desperate to post their first clean sheet of the A-League season

Perth Glory will be aiming to keep it clean when they take on Melbourne Victory in a high-stakes A-League clash at AAMI Park.

Glory are yet to post a clean sheet this season, and find themselves languishing in seventh spot with one win and three draws to show from six games.

Tenth-placed Victory are faring even worse this season under new coach Marco Kurz, with the powerhouse club postingone win and two draws from seven games.

It means the pressure will be sizzling when the heavyweights meet on Friday night.

A loss to Glory on home soil would intensify the spotlight on Kurz.

Glory coach Tony Popovic has way more brownie points after guiding the club to the Premiers Plate last season.

But Perth are already nine points adrift of the top two, and can't afford to let that gap widen.

Last week's 3-1 loss to Sydney FC exposed some defensive frailties, but the expected return of Alex Grant from suspension will help add some steel to Glory's back unit.

Osama Malik, who has missed two games with a hamstring injury, could also return against Victory.

Glory posted 12 clean sheets last season, and goalkeeper Liam Reddy said the team was determined to post one this week.

"Definitely as a goalkeeper and as a team we pride ourselves on keeping clean sheets," Reddy said.

"That's something we haven't had this season, and we'll be desperately looking to rectify.

"That's something we need to work on as a group of players, and that starts from the top.

"The back four and the goalkeeper are never the ones that keep the clean sheet, it's the whole team."

Sydney's pace allowed them to beat Perth's offside trap several times last week.

Glory need to be on guard against the likes of star Victory trio Andrew Nabbout, Ola Toivonen, and Robbie Kruse this Friday night.

Reddy isn't paying any attention to the ladder right now, saying fixing up the team's costly lapses is the No.1 focus.

"We're playing good football. We're still producing chances, the mood around the playing group is really positive, and the coaching staff are positive," Reddy said.

"It's the little lapses that we've been suffering and we've been getting punished for (that hurt).

"If we can cut those out, we'll give ourselves the best opportunity to keep that clean sheet."