The chance to build an important run of wins ahead of the Finals Series has City Head Coach excited for Friday night’s clash with Western Sydney, saying three points against the Wanderers will set the tone for a finals push.
City take on Tony Popovic’s side full of confidence after back-to-back wins in the league – the side’s first since the opening rounds of the season – and making it three in a row is what’s driving Valkanis and his side towards their end of season goal.
With the Wanderers also hitting their straps at the right end of the season, with wins in the ACL and at home to Wellington, Valkanis is cautions of what Friday’s hosts will have to offer but is going to Spotless Stadium with the mindset that his team will not be dominated in the contest.
“Looking at Western Sydney and the video, they’re a very similar team to us in regards to wanting dictate the game and keeping possession of the ball and we have to look at how we’re dominating the game,” Valkanis said.
“We want to go there and dominate so we’ll look at how we set up and how we do that and best try to exploit their weaknesses in different areas of the park. There’s a couple of decision to be made and there’s one more session in Sydney so we’ll make up our minds tomorrow.”
One of those decisions is finding a replacement for Tim Cahill with the Socceroos star away on national team duty and the Head Coach is confident that the opportunity given to the player who makes the final side will be taken with both hands.
“Tim is a big loss and he’ll do us proud with the Socceroos but one loss means an opportunity for someone and we’ve got boys who came on in the second half that did a fantastic job,” he said.
“We changed the way that we played a little bit in the second half and we’re looking at which way to go this week and what we are going to do to exploit their weaknesses. There are good options so we’re confident and we’ll make those decisions after the final session.”
With third place looking a likely outcome for City if they continue their current form, Valkanis is confident his group is working towards one goal and that’s being there in the last week of the Finals.
“We move on to the last four games and it was important to get back-to-back wins because we haven’t done that in a while,” he said.
“It will be even ore important tomorrow against a very good team and pushing for top six that we get a third win on the trot which hasn’t been done for a long time. We know how important the game is and how much it means to us and how important the next four games are in getting momentum, playing good football and going into the finals having prepare ourselves for playing finals football.
“We know that a third win would be massive for finishing as high as we can but also moving on to the next game which is another big one against Sydney FC. This is a huge opportunity where they need the three points and so do we.”
City take on Western Sydney on Friday night at Spotless Stadium, kick-off 7.50pm. See the match live on Fox Sports 505 and SBSVICELAND.