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.”