Thompson: More Than Three Points On Line Vs. Phoenix

Melbourne Heart FC vice-captain Matt Thompson concedes more than simply three points will be on the line when the side takes on Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park this Saturday.

Melbourne Heart FC vice-captain Matt Thompson concedes more than simply three points will be on the line when the side takes on Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park this Saturday.

Sitting fifth with three matches remaining, a triumph over the high-flying New Zealand outfit will not only consolidate Heart-s claim for a playoff berth, but thrust the side into the mix for a potential home final.

“I think (there is more than three points on the line this week),” he said.

“If get three points here, it will all but seal that top six spot, and it definitely gives us a chance to push for something a bit higher, third or fourth.

“If we lose this game, and other results go against us, all of a sudden, these last two games are like finals again.”

However, on recent form, Heart can certainly bank on a strong performance, having rediscovered the formula which inspired its magical run through November and December, where the Red and White claimed seven wins from eight matches.

Although that run is now plainly in the past, seven points from a possible nine over the last three weeks has reinvigorated the camp, igniting self-belief within the squad.

“We-re getting some players back on deck with a squad of 22 or 23 now, everyone-s available, everyone-s fit and ready to go,” he said.

“That was probably a bit of a hiccup during that time, and we were all over the place in terms of the starting eleven every week and the squad. We-re getting a bit of cohesion now, and it-s a nice time to hit form.”

While Wellington was once renowned for its struggles away from home, Ricki Herbert-s side have undergone a transformation of sorts this season, sorting out its travelling woes to establish genuine consistency, regardless of locale.

According to Thompson, it is this fact, along with the litany of potential match winners Wellington can call upon which makes them a dangerous proposition, even within the confines of AAMI Park.

“We expect a physical game and a tough opponent,” he said.

“They-ve started this year to win on the road, so it-s not going to be the same as previous years when they-ve been a completely different team.

“They-re a tough side, they-ve got match winners, and we need to make sure we step up again from last week.”