Michael Janssen's men will be looking to bounce back this week following the away loss to Gosnells City, as they entertain a much improved Rockingham City outfit.
It was a Saturday afternoon to forget for the Uni boys, with the agonising 3-2 loss compounded by the loss of Alex Kretowicz to a serious shoulder injury sustained after winning a penalty.
Janssen lamented his side’s inability to make the most of the dominance and control of general play as they struggled to penetrate a solid Gosnells backline.
“First half we weren’t able to find a way through with enough pressure on the final third,” the head coach explained.
“Individual turnover and individual tactical errors got us on the back foot unnecessarily,” he added.
Kretowicz’s injury occurred with only 35 minutes played, as the star forward dusted himself off after the challenge to slot home from the penalty spot, a true testament to his character and dedication to the cause. The striker was forced from the field at half-time and went straight to hospital, where they confirmed the 23-year-old had fractured his collarbone in two places.
“It’s very sad for as he was in such great form and in his best shape again,” Janssen noted.
“I am sure he will come back even stronger.”
Despite Janssen remaining positive over Kretowicz’s setback, the coach was displeased over the manner teams had targeted the fleet-footed attacker.
“The thing that worries me, is that we saw the hunting for Kretowicz from the start of the season following his prolific campaign in 2016,
“We’ve seen players attack his legs without any chance to win the ball and it’s finally resulted in an injury for the young player,” the German commented.
The head coach insists the injury will serve to inspire the squad in weeks to come.
“We will definitely play for Kretowicz on Saturday and the team has shown great character in training, knowing what went wrong last week and what needs to be done to back on track,
“We have some options to deal with his loss and some players have to make their step forward now to make up for his absence.”
UWA face another big test this weekend in Rockingham City, who sit third on the ladder, just three points above Uni, making the match-up a crucial tie.
If last year’s encounters with City are anything to go by, Saturday is set to be a true test of patience and persistence for the boys in green, with the two 1-1 draws last season characterising just how cagey the affair can be between the two sides.
“Rockingham will be a good opportunity to show our style of football on our own soil,” Janssen said.
“City are physically strong... it will be challenging for us and another interesting encounter for the spectators to watch,” he added.
The coach, in his second season at the helm, believes focus over 90 minutes is the key to maximum points on the weekend.
“It’s vital to keep the intensity high and to work as a unit,
“If you are not able to deliver this, Rockingham will punish,” he added.
Captain Josh Marocchi echoed the manager's thoughts.
"Rockingham are a well-organised unit and they defend with numbers and have height across the back," the centre-half explained.
"I believe we can break them down by playing a high pressing game,
"Giving their defenders limited time in possession may force them into errors and show that we intend not to sit back," the skipper added.
Depending on the score this weekend, UWA could potentially climb above City and steal third spot if other results go their way,
In team news, Max Welton joins Kretowicz on the injury list, tireless utility Tim Robertson is suspended after picking his fourth yellow of the season, while Marc Zagami and Andrew Xydas are back in the squad.
Saturday, 17th June
UWA v Rockingham City
First Team: 3 PM
Reserves: 1 PM
18's: 11 AM