Consecutive losses threaten Macarthur’s finals hopes

-

A trip to Tasmania preceding a swift return to Campbelltown Stadium has flipped Macarthur’s position from auspicious to treacherous.

With rain falling down and Melbourne Victory goals flying in, the Bulls’ grip on the top six slipped dramatically. Craig Noone’s second-half penalty carried the air of a potential comeback catalyst, but some sloppy defending and a magic trick from Roderick Miranda sealed a 4-1 defeat.

A team so recently cruising at an admirable altitude are now at the mercy of those below them. Sydney FC and Central Coast Mariners currently look the most likely to snatch Macarthur’s finals ticket off them.

Embed from Getty Images

Macarthur head coach, Ante Milicic, was well aware of the importance of making the most of a difficult week.

“With this short turn around that we’ve had we needed to pick up something against Western United and Victory. Unfortunately, we didn’t,” he said.

“We now obviously need to depend on others which isn’t an ideal scenario. All we can do now is recover well, refocus, see how the boys pulled up and go again on Sunday.”

No points from a tricky double match-week leaves the potential of knockout football beyond Macarthur’s control.

The Mariners have four games left in which to accumulate precious, ladder-climbing points, Macarthur only have two. The single point that separates them could be too little to protect the Bulls, even if they win their remaining fixtures.

Embed from Getty Images

Milicic’s tone in the post-match press conference did fit that of a man who understood his season may be over sooner than he’d like. His hope and pride that has refused to waver all season, however, continued to shine through.

“We know we’re a decent side, particularly when we’ve got some of those bodies back. We just need a good week on the training park and if we’re good enough on Sunday to get a result then maybe that’ll keep us alive for another week,” he said.

“There’s a lot of proud players that that are hurting in there and I’m sure that when we do get back together on Monday there’ll be enough pride and quality to focus and finish the season in the right manner.”

Embed from Getty Images

Milicic also took a moment to celebrate the support the club has received from its home crowd in just their second season in the A-League Men.

“It’s been challenging for everyone: players, staff, supporters, but they’ve come out and supported us,” he said.

“We’re a new club and you have to understand coming in at this stage with COVID and up against Sydney FC and (Western Sydney) Wanderers, it’s not an easy market. We’re just doing our best and hopefully we can continue to grow.”

Embed from Getty Images

The Bulls will fight for their finals place on May 1 when they host outside challengers, Newcastle Jets.

Feature Image Credit: Macarthur FC

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

Tom Macrae
Tom Macraehttp://medium.com/@macraetomr23
Communications undergrad at Western Sydney University covering Macarthur FC in the 2021/22 season. Newcastle United. Jack Grealish fangirl.

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required