Milligan braced for finals campaign
Melbourne Victory midfielder Mark Milligan has downplayed his side's poor form heading into their A-League finals campaign.
Victory have won just two of their past eight matches heading into their cut-throat elimination final against Perth Glory at Etihad Stadium on Friday, as the club contended with injuries to key personnel in the latter stages of the regular season.
But Milligan said Victory had been buoyed by Sunday's hard-fought 3-2 win in Wellington over the Phoenix, a result he feels stands them in good stead for finals football.
"I think we're in decent form," Milligan told reporters on Wednesday.
"There's been a lot of interruptions for us. We've had some pretty serious injuries.
"We've blooded a lot of young boys, which is good coming into finals. There's going to be a few of them starting this weekend.
"The results maybe haven't been outstanding for us in the last four or five weeks, but again we draw a lot of confidence out of the win on the weekend."
Victory won their first two encounters with the Glory this season by 1-0 scorelines, but were beaten 3-2 at AAMI Park last month when Josh Risdon scored an injury time winner for Perth.
Victory were without the key trio of Milligan, Archie Thompson and Marco Rojas that day, while Glory were missing Jacob Burns, Michael Thwaite and Shane Smeltz.
Milligan is not reading too much into that result.
"This game's going to be about us, more than anything," he said.
"I think the last game, when we played them at home, both sides had some players missing. So things are always done slightly different when there's players out and what not.
"The game style we're going to play this weekend is obviously very similar. We're really focusing on ourselves. We're aware of their strengths. But if we do the things that we're taught and we do them correctly then we're a really good shout.
"I think they showed last year too, that come finals time they can step up the intensity."
Milligan denied the announcement that his club would take on English giants Liverpool in a pre-season friendly on July 24 had been a distraction from the job of playing Glory.
"It's a massive coup for the club to get them out - it's very exciting," he said.
"(But) we're just worried about this week, and hopefully the pre-season's still a couple of weeks away for us."