No premiership pressure on United: Aloisi
Western United can still win the A-League Men premiership but coach John Aloisi says all the pressure is on Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory.
All three Melbourne teams can still win the premiers plate ahead of the final round.
City are on 46 points with a goal difference of +21, ahead of Victory (45 points, +14) and United (45 points, +11).
Watch the latest sport on Channel 7 or stream for free on 7plus >>
Victory can heap pressure on their rivals when they face Sydney FC away on Saturday night, with Western United playing in Adelaide on Sunday before City host Wellington on Monday.
Aloisi said ideally the last round of the league would feature simultaneous kick-offs to add further drama but embraced the weekend of intrigue.
“We want to win as a club as a group but we know that we have to put on a performance that we’re capable of doing,” he said.
“That’s what we want and if we do that, then the result should be there.
“The pressure is on the others. Let’s not beat around the bush, the pressure is on City and Victory because they expect to win, their club expects them to win, that’s what they’ve paid all that money for is to win.
“For us, we’re on a journey. We want to win, we believe we’re good enough to win but the pressure is not on us.”
Aloisi said his players had been flat after losing midweek to Newcastle, before watching City’s surprise loss to Perth Glory open up the race again.
“Who expected Perth to beat City? They hadn’t won for (16) games, and then they go on beat them and all of a sudden, it’s alive again,” he said.
“So the players then start to realise that it can quickly turn.
“We just focus on what we can control and that’s putting on the performance in Adelaide, and if we do that we expect that we could get the result that we want.”
The Reds are still playing to seal a top-four spot and home final and the United coach welcomed the prospect of handling a parochial Coopers Stadium crowd, bar some Aloisi family members.
“In terms of the intensity, in terms of the atmosphere, in terms of having a hostile crowd against you, this is like a finals game,” he said.