Kilkenny opens up on City exit

25 February 2018 06:53:30 EST

Neil Kilkenny says his mental strength helped him cope with the tough times at Melbourne City, and admitted it felt good to score against them for Perth Glory.

Kilkenny was almost totally overlooked at City once Warren Joyce took over as coach before the start of the season.

He'd been the club's MVP last season, but under Joyce he managed just 73 minutes of action before quitting in disgust last month.

To go from what I was last season, to non-existent this season ... people don't know what I went through mentally.

Neil Kilkenny

On what was his first meeting with his former club, Kilkenny scored the equaliser with five minutes to go that helped them claim a 2-1 victory.

The 32-year-old struck when it was beginning to look like City would hold onto their first-half lead despite being reduced to 10 men when Bart Schenkeveld was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Adam Taggart popped up for the winner in the eighth minute of stoppage-time to keep Glory's finals hopes alive. They'd lost seven of their previous eight games, but are only four points off the Finals Series places.

Talking of his time at City, Kilkenny said: "I had to be mentally strong, and luckily I did. Because I knew once I eventually did leave, I knew I would be playing."

The midfielder, who's flourished since his arrival in Perth, was sure Joyce was mistaken when the coach said he hadn't seen his former player's goal.

In the lead-up to the game, Joyce had insinuated Kilkenny's training standards weren't up to scratch this season.

"To go from what I was last season, to non-existent this season ... people don't know what I went through mentally," said Kilkenny.

"Every day I was coming into training and working my socks off, and knowing I wasn't going to be playing on the weekend.

When a manager treats you the way I was treated from the start of the season - as a player you can't really say much.

The Glory are 3/1 to win their next game against Western Sydney, who are 5/6 with the draw 3/1.

The Glory are 16/1 to win the game 1-0.

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