It’s all on the line for Melbourne City in the final round of the regular season on Sunday and defender Osama Malik says his side is primed to secure not only a home final but the chance to qualify for Asia next season.
Malik returned from suspension last week as his side defeated Adelaide United 1-0 at AAMI Park and with the return of key figures to the side, the defender is confident City can defeat anyone on their day.
“It’s a massive game for us,” Malik said.
“Trying to qualify for Asia as well is important for us. When we found out we couldn’t make second, that was our goal. It’s a massive game for us, we need to go over there and try to win the game.
“We haven’t won as many away games as we would have like this season but we are confident with the personnel we have in our squad we can beat anyone so we want to put ourselves in the best position to do that.”
Malik and former Danish international Michael Jakobsen made their way back into the side in last week’s fourth clean sheet of the season and the former Adelaide United man said Jakobsen’s return to the side has boosted the confidence of the squad.
“He’s a massive player for us, his pedigree speaks for itself and he’s a great guy and leader,” he said.
“The intensity at training has been as high as it has been all season. It’s a positive for us coming into some good form and players like Michael Jakobsen coming back to full fitness is a huge plus for us.
“When we’re all fit, we have amazing depth here so anyone of those guys could do a good job there and that’s something that’s really good. Having us all fit and raring to go will probably make it hard for the coach to make a decision.”
With the Finals Series just around the corner, Malik says Sunday’s result is the focus but will be an important indicator coming into the playoff stages.
“It’s a bit different here where we get the opportunity to still win the title if we don’t finish first. It’s a huge opportunity for us where we are on a level playing field to all of those above us now. You put three good games together and you win the title so that’s what we’re working to at the moment.”
City take on Perth on Sunday at nib Stadium, kick-off 7pm AEST. See the match on Fox Sports 505.