Melbourne City are determined to lay the ghosts of Westpac Stadium to rest in tomorrow’s sudden-death Hyundai A-League Elimination Final against Wellington Phoenix.
The visitors were on the end of a 5-1 hammering at the Cake Tin in November, their heaviest loss of the campaign.
Skipper Patrick Kisnorbo has revealed the thrashing was a catalyst for a refocus in camp.
“After the game we sat down and had a look at ourselves,” said the former Socceroo.
“It was the point of the season where you think, ‘Do you want to go forwards or do you want to go backwards?’”
A win for City would set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash with cross-town neighbours Melbourne Victory on Friday.
But coach John van’t Schip insisted that hadn’t played a part in their preparations.
“We haven’t talked about it at all,” he said after travelling with his side straight from Wellington Airport to their final training session at Newtown Park.
“We have to take things step by step. We’re focusing on this game.
“Win here and we’ll see what happens after that. Our main focus now is to train, prepare and be ready for the game tomorrow.
“Everybody knows who we’re going to play after this game – Wellington knows, we know – but nobody’s talking about that because Wellington is the focus and that’s what we’re here for,” said the Dutch mentor.
But it seems Kisnorbo was unaware of the semi-final schedule, insisting he didn’t know Melbourne Victory awaits the winner of this game.
“One game at a time, starting tomorrow. We’ll know our fate after tomorrow’s game,” he said.
“We’ve had a good week on the training paddock. Now it’s the business end and we’re going to play a good game tomorrow.”
And Van’t Schip is reading nothing into the 5-1 loss his side suffered in round eight.
“Games sometimes go in their own way. We lost 5-1, but the year before we won 5-0,” he said.
“Wellington lost two (recent) games 3-0 but I’ve seen the games and they played good football.
“Sometimes games just don’t go the way you expect. We tried to get back into that game and opened up a bit too much and we got punished.
“We’re going to play our own game (tomorrow) but we also need to know their strengths.”