City duo Nick Fitzgerald and Ivan Franjic say the Hyundai A-League Finals Series is like the start of another season as the two prepare for Sunday’s Elimination Final with Perth Glory.
City come into the clash with an air of confidence after finishing the regular season in fourth position, securing its first home final at AAMI Park and Franjic believes that a new slate in the finals can only be a positive for his side.
“It’s finals football, that’s where everyone wants to be,” Franjic said.
“It’s almost like a new mini season starting so I don’t think momentum means anything. It’s good to have it but it’s better to get the losses out of the way during the season before it comes to finals.
“It’s better to play them at home in front of our fans. It’s the Club’s first home final so I think that’s good. We don’t have the best record there (in Perth) but we we’re confident in ourselves we would have gone there and won (if it did eventuate).
“It’s finals football now, you lose one game and you are out so we back our own ability and we said it from the start, we’re here to win and nothing has changed.”
City will be well aware of what Perth will have to offer come Sunday with the teams facing each other in the penultimate round of the season and Fitzgerald felt his side have learnt their lessons from the 3-2 loss in Round 26.
“I think this week we’ll be ready for what’s coming. We’ll come out strong and fighting from the first whistle,” Fitzgerald said.
“They’re a very physical team, they try to get on top of you early in terms of physicality and I think we found away from home, we were a bit slow out of the box.
“They have very good players, (Diego) Castro is coming back so we need to be wary of that and (Andy) Keogh up front as well so we need to be wary of their good players.
“It’s a finals game, it’s a different type of game and it’s not a normal game with points on the line, we have to show we are ready for it.”
With the only finals match in Melbourne this season, Franjic urged all City fans to give thier side as much of a home ground advantage as possible by coming out in numbers to AAMI Park.
“Fans really become a 12th man at home games and it’s obviously important to get as many there as possible,” he said.
“Against Adelaide we got over 11 thousand and hopefully this weekend we can get a lot more because it’s an exciting time for the Club with their first home final.”
“We all have to walk off the pitch with no excuses that everyone has given 100% and if we have lost to the better team on the day, so be it but if we give 100%, we’ll win it.”
City take on Perth in Elimination Final 2 this Sunday, kick-off 5pm. Don’t miss your chance to be at our first final! Tickets start at $15 for Kids and $35 for Adults. Secure your place at the match today!