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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 9 hours ago
Read
Apr 2, 2013

Milligan says Victory ready for finals

Melbourne Victory midfielder Mark Milligan is confident his side can overcome form concerns to make the most of the fresh start the A-League finals offer.

The Victory's excellent season under Ange Postecoglou has unravelled in recent weeks, with key injuries, player unavailability and just two wins in their past eight matches.

They go into Friday night's elimination final against Perth Glory at Etihad Stadium having lost just a fortnight ago to the West Australians in Melbourne.

But Milligan, missing for that match on Socceroos duty, believes the Victory's results before their 3-2 away win over Wellington Phoenix last weekend should be set aside when looking at the sudden-death final.

"Obviously the results maybe haven't been outstanding for us in the last four or five weeks, but we draw a lot of confidence out of the win on the weekend," Milligan said on Wednesday.

"We're all confident and we're ready to go. If we do the things that we're taught and we do them correctly, then we're in with a really good shout."

The Victory were expected to be competitive under two-time A-League champion coach Postecoglou - and a glorious mid-season stretch of form had many tipping they could make and win the grand final.

But the loss of fullback Adama Traore to a season-ending ankle injury, and their up-and-down form in recent weeks, has dulled their sheen as potential grand final winners.

Yet in their favour is a three-week sudden-death finals format in which they are just two wins away from playing in the decider, including an important first match at home,

Milligan said the Victory had always earmarked finals, despite many suggesting theirs would be a season in transition learning the Postecoglou way.

"We had high expectations. Obviously things are always tough when you put together a new team, but we always expected to be in and around the finals," he said.

"To be playing this weekend isn't a massive surprise for us.

"We just want to make sure we do the right things now. There's no second chances any more."

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