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Apr 17, 2012

Glory's Mehmet wants A-League GF start

Perth Glory striker Billy Mehmet hopes he's done enough to hold his starting spot for Sunday's A-League grand final against the Roar in Brisbane.

With Glory coach Ian Ferguson preferring the combination of Shane Smeltz and Steve McGarry up front for much of the second half of the season, Mehmet was forced to patiently bide his time off the bench.

But the England-born striker has made the most of starting roles in the past two weeks, firing home the equaliser in the semi-final win over Wellington Phoenix before setting Smeltz up for a goal in Saturday's preliminary final triumph over Central Coast.

With McGarry still getting over a recent knee injury, Mehmet is expected to retain his starting role up front alongside Smeltz.

But the 28-year-old is taking nothing for granted ahead of the club's most important match since the A-League's inception seven years ago.

"Everyone is fighting for their spots this week," Mehmet said.

"A couple of weeks ago against Wellington, people were saying that I was in because McGarry was injured, but I already knew that I was going to be playing that game beforehand.

"Obviously, I came in and did well and kept my spot.

"I've scored against Wellington and I set the goal up for Smeltzy on Saturday. There's not much more I can do so we'll just wait and see what happens."

The Glory have slugged through two 120-minute games over the past two weeks.

Mehmet admitted the extra playing time had taken its toll, but said the adrenaline associated with a grand final would be more than enough to pull the team through.

"We're a little bit tired but we've just got to get on with it," Mehmet said.

"We've got a big game coming up and we don't just want to turn up - we want to get there and win the trophy.

"Everyone is buzzing to get to the grand final, especially with where we were at the halfway point of the season."

Glory winger Andrezinho remains in doubt for the decider after injuring his groin against the Mariners.

Should Andrezinho be ruled out or relegated to the bench, Todd Howarth is favoured to take his spot in the starting XI.

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