Bolton: Phoenix Match Crucial To Finals Ambitions

Three points won’t be the only thing on the line when Melbourne Heart FC hosts Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park this Saturday.

Three points won-t be the only thing on the line when Melbourne Heart FC hosts Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park this Saturday.

With three matches remaining, Heart is locked in a fierce battle to qualify for a first ever Hyundai A-League Finals Series and sits only three points clear of seventh placed Sydney FC, making victory a must for John van ‘t Schip-s side.

However, emphasising the relative parity of the competition, while a win would strengthen Heart-s case for a place in the top six, it would catapult the side into the race for a home final.

It is this scenario that has prompted goalkeeper Clint Bolton to declare there is much more at stake than merely three points on Saturday.

“It-s seems like there-s more at stake, that-s for sure,” he said. “I guess it-s a case of if we get three points this week against Phoenix, then we-ve got one hand on a finals place.”

Heart has fared relatively well in recent weeks against the Hyundai A-League-s leading lights, earning four points from back-to-back outings against the competition-s top two outfits, Central Coast Mariners and Brisbane Roar.

While the challenge is hardly any easier this weekend, with the third placed Phoenix primed as Heart-s next opponent, Bolton has been emboldened by his side-s recent form, and believes the side could make an impact should it make the Finals Series.

“There-s no doubt whoever finishes in the top six will have a pretty equal chance of doing well in the finals series, apart from the top two teams who get a second chance,” he said.

“And there-s no doubt on any given day, there-s any team that can take this finals series, it-s all about momentum now, leading into the finals, being in the right form at the right time.

“There-s no doubt we-re starting to ascend again to form, which is very pleasing after we went a while without results, so we-re slowly building, getting good results against the better teams.”