The final round of 2015-16 is set to produce a thrilling finish to the A-League’s regular season, with all teams in the top four a chance to finish first.
Melbourne City squandered a golden opportunity to maintain a healthy position at the top, falling 3-2 away to Perth Glory last Sunday. Now City have to rely on results elsewhere to go into their favour, the Melburnians currently sit fourth (44) and they take on second-placed Adelaide United (46) on Friday night.
To finish first, the table-topping Brisbane Roar (47) cannot take any points from their trip to Melbourne on Saturday when they face the Victory. Adding insult to injury, Kevin Muscat’s side will be coming back from a midweek game in the Asian Champions League against Suwon Bluewings.
Finally, sitting third, the Western Sydney Wanderers (45) at best can get just a point in their trip to face Wellington, but City captain Patrick Kisnorbo maintained they are not thinking about other matches.
“The main thing is we have to worry about ourselves, if we start worrying about possibilities and other factors. I think that’s when you have problems,” Kisnorbo said.
“The rest is up to us, it’s in the hand of the gods. We came back from Perth disappointed, we’ve trained well today knowing the importance of Friday’s game because we know it’s going to be a very big game for both teams.”
City still is yet to taste any success with silverware in their short history, however, have looked convincing for the majority of this season.
The captain was keen to break the records and make history this time around.
“Even though winning the Grand Final is such a big thing, around the world the league is the most important,” he said.
“It’s one of those things where if you can win both, then fantastic, if you could win one of them then great you’ve won some silverware.”
Defender Alex Wilkinson conceded they were disappointed they let a chance slip away against Perth, but has urged the fans to get around the club on Friday night.
Wilkinson also acknowledge the good form Adelaide United have been in and the difficulties when defending against the Reds, but spoke of the fact they have beaten them twice this season already.
“We had it in our hands, it wasn’t meant to be and it was disappointing. We reassess, refocus and go again.
“We’re confident going into the finals. If we do everything right on our side of things and play on our terms then we can beat anyone.
“Our home record recently has been good, if we can get a huge crowd, it’s the last game of the regular season so it’s a huge crowd there and it would be great to have them cheer us on.
“Adelaide is strong all over the park, defensively they’ve got the best record in the league at the moment. They’re pretty tough to break down.
“The last game we played them in Adelaide we created a few chances and put one away. We can take a bit of confidence out of that.”
With star striker Bruno Fornaroli looking extremely likely to win the Golden Boot award after scoring 23 goals, the 28-year-old played it down, saying it is nothing without silverware to back it up.
“Scoring a lot isn’t important if you don’t win anything,” Fornaroli said.
“This is the first season for me, I said when I came I wanted to win the league, that’s it. When I started it’s important, but if you don’t win the league, it doesn’t matter if you score.”