Marrone Reveals Finals Relief

Melbourne Heart FC defender Michael Marrone has expressed his relief at the side virtually securing its finals berth ahead of the last round of the Hyundai A-League regular season.

Melbourne Heart FC defender Michael Marrone has expressed his relief at the side virtually securing its finals berth ahead of the last round of the Hyundai A-League regular season.

The Red and White all but mathematically confirmed its place in the top six following a 2-2 draw with Sydney FC last weekend, with only an unlikely, catastrophic eight-goal defeat in Adelaide consigning Heart to a season without finals football.

While Heart-s standing within the Hyundai A-League-s upper echelon is basically assured though, with tomorrow night-s match a dead-rubber of sorts, Marrone says it-s critical the side enters the finals series off the back of a positive result in Adelaide.

“It-s good that it hasn-t come down to the last game of the season, otherwise it would have been a bit of a pressure situation,” Marrone said.

“We-re happy we-ve qualified and look forward to building some momentum ahead of the finals.”

Heart will have to wait until Sunday evening to discover its first round finals opponent, when potential rivals Perth Glory and Wellington Phoenix round out their respective home and away campaigns.

Perth faces an intriguing home encounter against a Melbourne Victory outfit keen to exit its season on a high note, while Wellington meanwhile will face off with the Central Coast Mariners in a match which could decide the destination of the Hyundai A-League Premiership.

Facing the prospect of a three-hour journey to either city, Marrone was reluctant to select which opponent would be the lesser of two evils.

“I don-t think there is any weaker side. Both sides will cause problems, and whatever happens, happens, we-ll have to deal with it,” he said.