Smith: It’s a work in progress

After a disappointing performance in Unite Round, Head Coach Alex Smith said it is a work in progress but is pleased with how his squad is improving ahead of their battle in the West this Saturday.  

“It’s a work in progress, every week we’re improving, we’re working really hard on the pitch. It’s another big away trip this weekend to Perth. I’m still confident that if we show up on the day and put a few things together, we’ll give them problems and hopefully come away with something from the game,” Smith said. 

Smith has strong belief that his squad can put together a full performance when they face a second-placed Perth Glory, and said they are going there full of optimism. 

“They’ve got quite a few attacking players and they’ve obviously started the season well. They’re obviously on a little bit of a roll within the season but I think we can give them problems.”

“We need to be aware of them as well but if we show up and play our best football, there’s no reason why we can’t win the game. We’re going there with that attitude, we’ll see what happens, we’ll deal with the travel as best we can and the late kick off and all that sort of stuff, nothing but optimism heading into the game.”

Reflecting on a disappointing 2-1 loss to the Newcastle Jets last weekend in Unite Round, Smith recognised some key areas that needed work. 

“We probably didn’t show up 100%, I was a little disappointed with the intensity and the pressing and when you’re not all there you leave yourself open to scrappy goals and silly decisions, granted it’s been overturned.”

“There were a few things that we did that I wasn’t really happy about that led to that, in saying that, there was patches of good stuff and still probably created enough chances to win the game.”

Mia Corbin has scored six goals so far this season, already equalling Shea Connors record last season that led her to winning the Golden Boot. 

“Mia’s a traditional number 9, holds the ball up really well. The mark of any good striker is whether or not they’re scoring goals, she’s certainly been doing that – especially since I’ve been here – so really pleased with her.”

“Someone like Mia, we can take her to the next level. Every player here can improve and get better, and that’s what we’re doing every time we step out on the training pitch. I’ve been very happy with her as our focal point in the attack and hopefully she can continue to score goals.”

Smith spoke about Tameka Yallop playing her 150th A-League match in Sydney on the weekend and the impact her professionalism and experience brings to the squad. 

“You see her in the gym, and how she is as a professional. The girls look up to her, she’s a fantastic professional – very experienced – a good footballer so very happy to have her in the squad. It’s unfortunate the way her 150th went but that’s the way it happens sometimes, but it’s really pleasing to have somebody like that, of her experience and of her calibre in the team.”

Liberty A-League Women 2023/24 – Round 13: Perth Glory vs Brisbane Roar
Macedonia Park, Perth 
Saturday, 20 January (9:30pm KO)