Macarthur FC manager Ante Milicic conceded his side’s hopes of reaching the A-League season-ending final were out of control after their 4-1 loss to Melbourne Victory on Friday. Tony Popovic’s title-seeking side closed in on top pair Melbourne City and Western United with a win that leaves Milicic’s side sixth in the 12-club league with 32 points from 24 games.
Only the top six advance to the final and, with several teams below them having played fewer games, Milicic conceded his team’s fate will be decided by others. “With this short turn we had, we had to pick something up against Western United and Melbourne Victory,” Milicic said after watching his side lose to second and third sides in the space of four days.
“We now have to depend on others, which is not an ideal scenario, but all we can do is recover well, refocus and see how the boys stop and go on Sunday.” Macarthur qualified for the final last year with a sixth-place finish in his first-ever A-League campaign and will face Newcastle Jets next weekend with Milicic hoping he has a refreshed squad .
“We know we’re a decent team, especially when we got some of those bodies back,” he said. “We just need a week on the training park and if we’re good enough on Sunday we can get a result and maybe that keeps us alive for another week. Otherwise it’s probably the end.
“We continue to believe that there is a lot of quality in this dressing room, a lot of proud players who are suffering. I’m sure when we get back together on Monday there will be enough pride and quality to really train, be focused and finish the seasoning the right way.
“And if it’s good enough to get us there, time will tell.”
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