Wanderers in a 'strong position' in battle for sixth-spot: Bridge
Western Sydney Wanderers striker Mark Bridge admits it’s frustrating to be in danger of missing the finals ahead of his side's Round 27 clash with Adelaide United.
Sixth-placed Wanderers host the Reds knowing they’ll almost certainly need three points on Sunday to book an Elimination Final berth.
And despite Adelaide having little to play for after missing out on a top-four spot, Bridge insists they’ll provide a huge challenge for Josep Gombau’s side.
“Adelaide is going to be tough. But we’re playing some good football at the moment,” Bridge told www.a-league.com.au
“It’s frustrating that we’re in this predicament - playing the last game of the season and you need points to make the six.
“But it’s the position we’re in and hopefully we can get into that Finals Series.”
With Perth Glory (32 points) hosting Brisbane Roar (32 points) on Saturday night, Wanderers (33 points) will know exactly the result they need prior to tackling the Reds.
But regardless of the outcome in the West, Western Sydney’s fate remains firmly in their own hands, with a win enough to guarantee finals football.
“Of course. It’s always better isn’t it. You don’t want to have to rely on results, especially with how unpredictable the A-League is to get into the finals,” Bridge said when asked about Wanderers’ finals predicament.
“We’re in a strong position now that it’s in our own hands. But Adelaide’s going to be tough because they’ll want to win as well.”
Bridge has been battling a muscle complaint in his leg in recent weeks and has missed his side’s last two fixtures.
And he concedes he’s no certainty to be fit for Wanderers’ final regular season game.
“Touch and go I think. Because of where it is and I’m getting a bit long in the tooth - it’s a bit of a risk,” Bridge said.
“Push it too much it might tear and that requires surgery.
“We’ll be patient with it. If it’s right, fingers crossed it is, I’ll be out there. If it’s too much of a risk, then the boys have been playing good without me so it’s not much of a loss!”