Adelaide United know anything less than a victory over Melbourne City in their final clash of the regular season will most likely see their top-six aspirations dashed.
A win however, is no guarantee either but it does obviously increase United’s chances, though fate will ultimately decide their destiny.
The Reds were held to a 1-1 draw by premiers Sydney FC, while second-placed City managed a comprehensive 2-0 triumph against the Sky Blues in their last outing.
Carl Veart was confident that the high-pressure situation will bring out the best in his players, and is only concerned about what his side can control.
“When you perform at your best, when you’re under the most pressure and tomorrow night is going to be no different,” Veart told the media at a pre-match press conference.
“It’s a must win game for us and even if we win we’re still not guaranteed a finals spot.
“All we can do is go out and give it our best effort and get the three points.”
Seventh-placed Western United still have three matches to play and sit just two points behind the Reds.
The interim boss admitted he has not settled on his starting line-up just yet, revealing he is still mulling over whether to insert Al Hassan Toure into the eleven.
“We’ve a full squad, at this stage I haven’t finalised the starting eleven,” he revealed.
“I’m tossing up between two players. We’ve looked at Melbourne City and I’ve looked at the previous times that we’ve played them and Al Hassan has done extremely well when he played them before, so there’s a good chance that he could come into the starting eleven.”
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) August 10, 2020
Adelaide prevailed in their most recent encounter with City following a 3-1 triumph and a win over the Victorian outfit would be the first time in consecutive league matches since April 2016.
Veart added the fact that his players are more match hardened compared to City since the relaunch is something that works in their favour.
“They’re a very good side,” Veart acknowledged.
“I think our advantage is this will be our fifth game and their second game, so we should have a little bit better match conditioning going into the game.
“Looking back over the previous fixtures against them, we’ve played quite well against them, so we’re going to implement a very similar game style that we played them previously.”
Jamie Maclaren has enjoyed a stellar season, picking up where he left off before the hiatus with a goal against Sydney – a joint-best 19th of the campaign.
“Of course the defenders have to be more mindful of him because he’s quite lethal in and around the box,” he continued.
“We’ve to be aware of his position in and around the box, but that goes the same for whoever we play, the attacking players – the defenders have to be aware.
“And we’ve shown quite a few bits of footage of Jamie on how he makes his runs in behind, and where he likes to position himself in the box.
“So we’ve given as much information as we can to our defenders.”
Adelaide United face Melbourne City in the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season on Tuesday, 11 August at ANZ Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACST. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and the MyFootball Live App.