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Jan, 11, 2008

Glory defiant despite spoon possibility

Staring an A-League wooden spoon in the face, defiant Perth Glory owners and their coach have both said planning for a bright future has already started - with an overseas striker top of the shopping list.

Glory go into Sunday's final home game of another disastrous season three points adrift of Wellington at the foot of the A-League and with a desperate Adelaide and Newcastle to overcome in a bid to avoid a first-ever last place.

But despite a season which has seen coach Ron Smith sacked, plus disappointing results and attendances, co-owners Tony Sage, Brett McKeon and John Spence say they are in for the long haul - and coach Dave Mitchell will be given the ammunition to back their promises.

"No one thought it was going to be an easy ride and all of us are as committed now as when we first took over the club," Sage said.

"We always knew that turning the club around wasn't going to happen overnight and that there would be plenty of ups and downs which we have definitely experienced this season.

"The only way to see this club return to where it rightfully should be, at the top of the league, is through a long term commitment and that is what we're all prepared to do."

With eight players signed up, and six more - including Jamie Harnwell - offered deals, the Glory futures of Simon Colosimo, Stan Lazaridis and Jason Petkovic amongst others could depend on the final two games.

Former Socceroo Mitchell, who took over from Smith in November, says he is looking abroad for a frontman - despite the Glory's terrible experiences with Brian Deane and Mate Dragicevic in recent seasons.

"The problem with overseas strikers is they are very offensive, so the most important thing is we don't jump in and make a mistake," Mitchell said.

"We've got a bit of time to make sure we get the right player.

"I'm going to look all over the world.

"It's not just England or Europe or Holland, it could be Chile, it could be an Argentinean, it could even be Asian.

"I just want good players here."

Attack will also be Perth's plan against Adelaide, who still harbour slight hopes of the finals - depending on Newcastle's result against Central Coast on Saturday.

"There's a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, mathematically there's still a chance although the equation is quite difficult," coach Aurelio Vidmar said.

"But we still need to go out on a positive note and first thing is first, we'll worry about Perth this week."

Those worries will be eased by the return of Nathan Burns, Dez Giraldi. Robert Cornthwaite and Cassio, but Diego will be rested ahead of United's entry into the Asian Champions League.

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