Melbourne Victory interim boss Grant Brebner has fired a stern warning to his players ahead of the final two matches of a disappointing campaign.
The Victory remains the only side yet to win a match since the restart with the club blowing its best opportunity yet when it surrendered a late lead against the Central Coast Mariners last Monday.
Despite the regular squad rotation and promotion of youth, Brebner denies the club is in a ”development phase” and insists results are still the club’s top priority this season.
”Whether you’re contracted or not I want to see that these players are up for the game otherwise we’ll have other decisions to make,’’ Brebner said.
”We came in here with a five-game campaign and we have two to go. We can only use the games this season to learn from and the Mariners loss has hurt us, there’s no doubt that’s hurt us. Do I need to use that as motivation? Probably not. I want to see the players motivate themselves, if I have to use a result to motivate the players it tells me a lot about the players.
”There have definitely been moments which have been really pleasing. We’re not in development phase, even though we are looking towards next season, the results are something we want to make sure we’re achieving.
”Am I pleased with certain instances? Yes. Have I been pleased with training? Yes. Have I been pleased with the players’ attitudes towards things I’ve asked? Yes. But we still have lots to do in this next week with the build up to next season.’’
Socceroo Andrew Nabbout will return to the side after missing Monday’s loss due to an ankle injury, while young Aaron Anderson will also slot back into the defence after being rested.
The Victory is undefeated against Perth this season – taking four points out of six from this season’s meetings – and will have an opportunity to play spoiler once again with the Glory requiring a win to confirm its place inside the top six.
The Glory are coming off an impressive two-goal win away to the Western Sydney Wanderers; a match where several of the club’s young stars – including Jake Brimmer and Kristian Popovic – left a positive impression on head coach Tony Popovic.
Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory will meet on Saturday at Jubilee Stadium.
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