Coach Kenny Lowe says Perth Glory are starting to feel they can snatch a Finals Series place, despite having gone through a terrible run of form.
Only six weeks ago the Western Australia side were next to bottom in the A-League and looking more likely to be battling against the wooden spoon than challenging for the top six.
A run of seven defeats in eight games meant most pundits had written them off, but there may just be enough time left for them to recover. Their 3-1 win over Central Coast at the weekend meant they'd put together a three-game unbeaten sequence for the first time this season.
They're now just three points adrift of six-placed Adelaide United, who they will face at home in the final round. United have a game in hand over Lowe's side, though, and a goal difference that is nine better than their rivals.
The Glory coach was given a vote of confidence by the club's chairman Tony Sage during their form slump, on the basis that the team had had so many players missing through injury that it stretched their resources too thinly.
"We've had a hell of a disjointed year; a lot of guys haven't had much game time," said Lowe.
But he can sense, after picking up seven points from their last three matches, that there's belief in the squad.
"They can feel something happening. And also they want to make something happen to catch up for a bit of lost time that a lot of them have had," added Lowe.
Diego Castro was ruled out of the Mariners game with a calf problem, but with two weeks until the next match against Melbourne Victory he will have a chance to recover.
Talking of the Glory's top-six chances, Lowe said: "Stranger things have happened. People above us aren't really on fire; we're getting a bit of momentum."
Perth are 1/1 to win the Grand Final and 1/1 to finish in the top six.
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