Melbourne Heart FC midfielder Matt Thompson says the side is buoyed by its away form ahead of this evening’s Hyundai A-League Elimination Final against Perth Glory at nib Stadium.
Melbourne Heart FC midfielder Matt Thompson says the side is buoyed by its away form ahead of this evening-s Hyundai A-League Elimination Final against Perth Glory at nib Stadium.
Thompson believes Heart-s ability to eke out results on the road places it in good stead to challenge Glory and book its spot in week two of the Hyundai A-League Finals Series.
“It-s a final and I know it-s a cliché but anything can happen,” he said. “Our away form-s better than our home form anyway, so it doesn-t worry us.”
While Heart long seemed destined to feature in this season-s finals series, sitting in the top two on the Hyundai A-League table at the turn of the year, a late stumble saw the side only cement its place in the top six during the final round.
Though this had led many to rank Heart as an outsider heading into the knockout contest, Thompson says the side is comfortable with the underdog tag.
“We-ve scraped into the finals over the last couple of weeks - 10 weeks ago we were sitting second or third, and had a bad run and were fighting it out with a couple of other teams," he said.
“But we knew if we ever got in the finals that we-ve beaten the top sides and there-s no reason why we can-t give it a good shake.
“We're going to be in Perth, they-re going to have 15-20,000 people there, so they have pressure on them. But we-ve beaten Perth in Perth before so I don-t see why we can-t get a result.”
The match-up will certainly be one of contrast in both ethos and playing philosophy, as Heart-s youthful eleven implement a possession based approach, juxtaposed against an experienced Perth outfit which places an emphasis on direct play.
While Thompson admits some of Heart-s rising stars may carry a degree of angst heading into the contest, he feels the side has the talent required to secure victory.
“It-s easy to say let-s play without fear but when you go to the game, you don-t want to make mistakes,” he said.
“And we do have a young side and there-ll be a few boys that might be feeling a bit nervous
“But a lot of those boys have played 15-20 games this year so it-s not like they-re just getting broken in. We knew if we got into the six, on our day we-re a top side and we can only worry about us.”