Glory not fazed by past losses to Sydney

Perth Glory midfielder Neil Kilkenny doesn’t think Sydney FC will hold a psychological edge when the two heavyweights lock horns in Sunday’s grand final at Optus Stadium.

Glory have become the A-League’s best side under new coach Tony Popovic, winning the Premiers Plate with two rounds to spare.

Perth lost only three times all season, and finished with both the best defensive and offensive record.

But the one team who has bragging rights over Glory this season is Sydney, who won two of the three encounters between the two sides.

Sydney became the first team to beat Glory this season when they produced a shock 2-1 win in Perth in round nine.

And they posted a 1-0 win over Glory in Sydney just last month when Perth rested a host of their best players.

The Sky Blues will enter the grand final brimming with confidence following their 6-1 demolition of Melbourne Victory in Sunday’s semi-final.

But Kilkenny isn’t worried about any perceived mental edge Sydney may have.

“They might take confidence in it, but I don’t think it really matters much,” Kilkenny said of Sydney’s recent win over Perth.

“A grand final is a one-off game, and it’s a lot about the little fine lines, who can handle the pressure, who can make their mark when they can.

“We know it’s going to be a tough game, but they know it’s going to be a tough game too.

“They have to travel to Perth and they are playing against the best team in the league, and we’re playing against the second best team in the league.

“We know they’ve got some good individuals. But at the same time we know we’ve got players that can hurt them as well.”

Glory’s sole win over Sydney this season – a 3-1 victory in Perth – was one of their most impressive displays under Popovic.

Sydney were made to look second rate as Perth opened up a 3-0 lead with a dominant first half.

Glory booked their spot in the grand final with a drama-filled semi-final win over Adelaide that was decided by a penalty shootout.

Kilkenny suffered a huge scare on the eve of the finals when he injured his ankle at training, but the 33-year-old shook off the injury to play 97 minutes against the Reds.

“It was worrying twisting your ankle so close to an important game, but luckily I got through it and now I’m ready for the grand final,” Kilkenny said.

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