|By CHRISTIAN MAMMONE
Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson says he was blown away by the reception Travis Dodd received from the Hindmarsh Stadium crowd in the 1-1 draw with Adelaide United on Sunday.
Dodd, the former captain of Adelaide, skippered the Glory in the absence of the injured Jacob Burns and was given a standing ovation as he left the pitch after being substituted in the 85th minute.
Sunday's stalemate was only Dodd's second appearance in opposition colours at Hindmarsh Stadium since he joined Perth in March 2011, but the first in which he received a rousing reception from the United faithful.
Ferguson said it was rare to see an opposition player enjoy such a warm welcome in the A-League but was moved by the emotional response Dodd received.
"It's quite an emotional time for the boy," Ferguson said.
"To get taken off and get that ovation I think it was a great thing from the Adelaide punters.
"There's a mutual respect from player to fans and I think they showed that.
"Doddsy was captain and had four or five fantastic years here in Adelaide... he's been in grand finals with them, an ACL final and he's a winner.
"I think the fans realise that and to come back and get taken off so late on and obviously get that ovation, it says a lot for Travis Dodd and Adelaide - it was fantastic."
Perth had to settle for a point after striker Billy Mehmet's first-half strike was cancelled out in the 49th minute by Reds attacker Dario Vidosic.
Ferguson agreed with his coaching counterpart John Kosmina that a draw was a fair reflection of the match.
"I think he's spot on, both teams had some great opportunities," Ferguson said.
"Overall it was a fair, even game which was good and 1-1 is a fair result.
"For both sides it wasn't great conditions but they put on a good game particularly in the second half for the fans."
While Perth and Adelaide prepared on Sunday, news broke through that Sydney FC coach Ian Crook had resigned after witnessing his side surrender a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 in the dying minutes to Melbourne Victory on Saturday.
Crook had only been in charge of the Sky Blues for six matches before deciding to step down after admitting he was struggling to deal with the pressure of the top job that was only amplified by the presence of the A-League's biggest marquee signing in Italian superstar Alessandro Del Piero.
Ferguson did not wish to comment on the resignation but said he sympathised with Crook, suggesting the pressure on A-League coaches to deliver results was incredibly demanding.
"It's sad to see a coach leave after just six games... the demands are increasing and that's the pressure we are all going to get put under," Ferguson said.
"There are 10 teams [in the A-League] and there is only going to be one winner, but every team at the start of the season thinks they are going to win the league, and unfortunately it gets hyped up and up.
"We are all under pressure straight away from bad starts to losing games to not even reaching the top six – we understand that.
"I've been in football for a long time and I know it can change in a heartbeat. You could have a fantastic run and win 10 games, but then you could lose the next 15.
"That's the pressure we are under and it's a lot of demand."
Ferguson said attention from the media, along with social media and internet forums, also heaped further strain on the competition's coaches.
"Social media websites tend to put a lot of crap out there and that's there points of view, but it used to be constructive criticism, now it's just vile half the stuff that goes on," Ferguson said.
"Personally I don't look at it and don't go on them, and I don't give a crap... I can only affect what I can in my club and that's my team."But I know there's people that look at them and I know there's people that get caught up in it."