Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson has praised his undermanned A-League side's effort despite their loss to Melbourne Victory, saying it's a fixture that every club will find difficult.
A sweetly-hit 58th-minute strike from in-form New Zealand winger Marco Rojas provided the lone goal at AAMI Park on Friday night as the third-placed Victory made it four wins and a draw from their past five games.
While the hosts dominated the late stages of the first half and the first 30 minutes of the second, Perth went close to levelling late, with a 75th-minute Shane Smeltz header and 90th-minute Chris Harold strike forcing saves.
Ferguson said with his side hit hard by the late withdrawal of Liam Miller (back tightness), adding to the absences of Michael Thwaite, Scott Jamieson (both with the Socceroos) and Jacob Burns (suspension), he couldn't question their endeavour.
"I can't fault any of the players today, their effort was tremendous for the club and themselves," Ferguson said.
"The great pleasing thing as well was when we went one down we never put our heads down."
While Perth have just one point from four away games this season, Ferguson predicted most sides would struggle to take points from the Victory.
"They play very attractive football, they try to use the whole park," he said.
"... They're a very difficult team to play against and the talent that they have got, I'm a wee bit jealous to be honest."
But Victory coach Ange Postecoglou was not satisfied, saying it had taken too long for his side to produce the fast-paced style he wanted.
"They see when they do that they get the rewards so sometimes I get a bit confused when they go away from it," Postecoglou said.
"But it's a good lesson for us that as we go along we can struggle just as much as anyone else if we don't stick to our gameplan."