Murray United out to spoil the party for NPL 2 west promotion hopefuls Moreland Zebras

Murray United skipper Ashley Dunn celebrates the side's win over Dandenong City with Alex West. Picture: MARK JESSER
Murray United skipper Ashley Dunn celebrates the side's win over Dandenong City with Alex West. Picture: MARK JESSER

Murray United coach James Coutts doesn’t believe last weekend’s bye will affect his side’s momentum for the final three rounds of the NPL 2 season.

The Border outfit produced one of its best displays of the season with a 2-0 win in its last start against Dandenong City, before enjoying a week away from the pitch.

It gave Coutts an opportunity to give striker Gonzalo Freddi and centre back Sean Pye time to get their injuries right, while star defender Halil Gur also finished the Dandenong game sore.

“It was probably a good time to have a week off because we’ve been light on numbers and had a few knocks and niggles,” Coutts said.

“Gonz trained fully, Pyesy trained fully and Halil will be fine for the weekend also, so we’ll be hopefully going down there with a fully fit squad.

“You never know until we get out there again, but it as one of the best training sessions we’ve had (on Wednesday night).

“I think that little week off refreshed the players, even though a lot of them said on Saturday and Sunday that they felt a little bit lost and didn’t know what to do with themselves.

“It came at a good time in terms of resting a couple of bodies, so hopefully it doesn’t kill any momentum following the Dandy game.

“That’s the performance and standard we’ve set ourselves, so we need to make sure we produce another.”

The in-form Moreland Zebras await the travelling Murray on Saturday – a side who are in the thick of the promotion battle in second place in the western league, trailing Northcote City by five points.

“I talk quite regularly with the Northcote coach and he’s certainly hoping we do a job this weekend,” Coutts said.

“He’s given me a lot of insight into that and we’ll go down there full of confidence from the Dandenong City game that we can get a result.

“Historically, every game we’ve played against Moreland has not been a good one, I don’t think we’ve picked one up against them.”

Meanwhile, Dandenong Thunder has all but secured a place in next year’s NPL after beating arch rivals Dandenong City 2-1 last weekend.

They moved seven points clear of Dandenong City, after coming from from 1-0 down.

“In my opinion, Dandy Thunder are the best within our conference,” Coutts said.

“Defensively they’re very good, they’re very hard to break down.”