ALBURY City must win this weekend if it is to cement its spot in the Cup’s playoffs.
The surprise packet of season 2013 will be at home to Wodonga Heart on Sunday knowing they got out of jail with a 3-3 draw when they met in the first round.
City sit five-points clear of ninth placed Albury Hotspurs but face Twin City and Wangaratta away after this weekend.
Coach Simon Randall said it was still a battle.
“Hotspurs have a mathematical chance of making it with three rounds to go so we are not taking it for granted that we are in the playoffs,” he said.
“Every game is important to us now, each game has the potential to wreck our season.
“Last time Heart were humming and we ended up with a draw but this time around we will revert to more structured football, we were guilty of getting caught up in the hype around our form at the time.”
Heart coach Tyson Mason says he will have a settled line-up for Sunday.
“We don’t have Shane Hasler anymore so I have switched from defence into attack in recent weeks but its the same team for three weeks now,” he said.
“And we have been finding the back of the net lately but running out of legs, a little like what happened against City earlier this year.
“We’ll look to get on the front foot and see how it pans out from there.”
Randall says he may rest some of his teenage stars ahead of the Cup knockout.
“We have some niggling injuries that need to be monitored and there is the likelihood we may rest some of the young bodies ahead of the Cup playoff — it has been a very long year for some of them,” he said.
“A number of the boys are in the Albury High team that has now made the NSW Cup so there have been weeks where they have played four or five games in seven days.”