ALBURY City’s Campbell Taylor says no one wants to finish eighth.
The final side into the cup playoff will face top-of-the-table Twin City in the first week of finals and, after the release of the quarter final venues this week, that will be at Wanderers’ home ground of Kelly Park.
But Taylor yesterday said that wouldn’t factor into preparation for the final two rounds that start with eighth-placed Albury City playing Diamonds at La Trobe on Sunday.
“No one really wants to finish eighth and play Wanderers,” he said.
“But the vital thing is to go into finals in good form — we have to stay focused for the next two weeks.
“The focus is Diamonds on Sunday and Boomers in the final round.”
Taylor said the initial shock of former coach Simon Randall being sacked had turned into a new lease of life for the club.
“It took a little while to sink in at the first training session when it was announced,” he said.
“But the environment has changed.
“The boys are gelling together as a unit and starting to play for each other — I think we have struggled in the past in that area.
“In the past two weeks at training, there has been a different feeling and, hopefully, it’s a positive that translates to the pitch.”
City goes into the clash after the bye and a solid 2-0 win against Albury Hotspurs.
The Diamonds are coming off the 8-0 drubbing of Wangaratta, showing the first signs of the form, speed and ball movement that delivered the league and cup double to La Trobe last year.
Taylor said City had a lot of respect for Diamonds under Jimmy Bell and had tailored its training to match their style of play.
“A lot of the boys here have been coached by Jimmy,” he said.
“We have a lot of respect for Diamonds as a team and Jimmy as a coach.
“But the boys are excited about this weekend and there is a good feeling at training and in the change rooms.
“We spend Thursdays preparing for the opposition we are going to come up against and we know the sort of football Diamonds like to play.”