Top Four Cup: Cyrus confident of taming Perth
Football West News
Inglewood United skipper David Cyrus is backing his side to muzzle the “big dogs” of Perth SC in Saturday’s Top Four Cup Final.
Inglewood won their final three matches of the NPL WA season to finish in second place, an outstanding performance after appointing head coach Andres Oliveira just days before the start of the season.
Then in the first weekend of the Top Four Cup, they went to the home of league champions Perth and recorded a 3-1 victory to book their place in this Saturday’s decider.
Now a repeat result against the Azzurri at their own Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium would be the icing on the cake for United.
“The boys have done outstanding at the back end of the year and with us getting second, it’s just boosted the morale around the camp. It’s brilliant, everyone’s in good spirits, we have a fully fit squad … we’ll give it a good go,” Cyrus said.
The upheaval at the beginning of the campaign could have derailed Inglewood’s campaign and a 3-0 home loss to Bayswater City in Round One suggested they were in for a long winter.
But Cyrus says it was no surprise that they sorted themselves out.
“I won’t say surprised, I don’t think that’s the right word,” he said.
“We knew we had the squad for it, it was just whether it was going to mould. That’s what your pre-season and your Night Series is for, it’s to become a squad and understand each other.
“That was the hardest thing, getting a new coach and understanding the way he wanted us to play. But he came on board and understood us and we’ve managed to get second, which is unbelievable.”
While Cyrus is understandably happy with their runners-up spot, he is aware that his old club have loftier ambitions.
Perth have won three of the last four NPL titles and victory on Saturday will deliver back-to-back league and Top Four Cup doubles.
Perth reached the final with an extra-time win over Floreat on Tuesday and skipper Francis Soale said: “It’s amazing what this club has achieved in the last four years but our hunger has only increased with every trophy we’ve won.
“We showed that (on Tuesday). Floreat really brought it to us for 120 minutes and we showed we’re still the big dogs.”
Goalkeeper Soale, who missed Tuesday’s Preliminary Final through injury, is confident of being declared fit for Saturday.
And he insisted having to battle through extra time will not have a detrimental effect on their performance.
“We probably take more from the game, I think it’ll galvanise us,” he said.
“We definitely performed better than we did on Saturday (when losing to Inglewood), we had a few extra guys back. Everyone’s in good form going into this game.
“We’re pretty confident in our fitness levels and have been for the last couple of years. The fitness side of it won’t be an issue – it’s probably almost good or us to get that full, hard 120 minutes in before this week.”
Cyrus is also happy that it was Perth and not Inglewood who had to play the extra match. Asked how it was having a free midweek, the Grenada international said: “Brilliant, that was the last thing we wanted, to be playing on a humid Tuesday night!”
There will be three Top Four Cup finals on Saturday and all will be livestreamed on the Football West Facebook and YouTube pages.
First is the Under 18s final between Perth SC and Stirling, which will be followed by the Under 20s final between Perth Glory and Perth SC.
Saturday, September 14
Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium
Top Four Cup Final
Perth SC v Stirling Lions (10am – livestream)
Perth Glory v Perth SC (12.15pm – livestream)
Inglewood United v Perth SC (3pm – livestream)