Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat says his challenge will be getting his players into the right mental frame of mind in their upcoming match against Wellington Phoenix.
Third place is up for grabs with Victory sitting two points behind Melbourne City who play Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park tonight.
The Big V arrived back in Melbourne Friday afternoon after bowing out of the Asian Champions League (ACL) 6-2 to Ulsan Hyundai on Wednesday night.
They now take on last-placed Phoenix and will have to do without Rhys Williams and Kosta Barbarouses, who are both suspended.
“Ultimately it’s about us and it’s about making sure our mindset is right and mentality is the key component here,” Muscat said on Saturday.
“Everyone will point to the physical side of things, but the mind is a far greater obstacle. We’ve got to get ourselves into that frame of mind and not feeling sorry for ourselves.
“We’ll have to wait and see how everyone has pulled up, we’ve had time to get some rest yesterday and sleep in our own beds.
“The reality is the squad is pretty thin, we’re well aware it was going to be very testing for us once we got an injury or suspension and that’s what happened in the last game. Terry’s available and so is Matias Sanchez.”
Muscat also said they would have to simply put the ACL behind them.
“I don’t mean that flippantly, it obviously wasn’t what we desired and the outcome we were hoping for,” he added.
“We’ve got to throw all our energy to Wellington Phoenix tomorrow. This morning, we’ll have a look at our players, see how they’ve slept, recovered.
“There’s still so much to play for, tomorrow’s a big game for us and we’ll put all our energy into that game.”