A refreshed Murray United outfit returns home in need of three points against Springvale on Saturday.
The Border side came away empty-handed from three games in the space of seven days last week, but knows a win at La Trobe will put them right back in the league mix.
Murray coach Elliot Jones said the side didn’t train on Tuesday night to allow the playing group to recover, but he’s confident of a good response.
“We’ve lost two league games in a row, which certainly hurts us, but the way everybody takes points off everybody, you know that you’re only one or two wins away from going back up the ladder,” Jones said.
“When you play teams on the same side of the conference, it adds a bit of extra weight.
“Consistency is a really big word for us at the moment and that’s what we need to bring.”
Springvale sits two points ahead of Murray in fifth spot, following a draw with Moreland Zebras last weekend.
“As much as we’ll have a look at them, we know if we can execute our game plan and play our brand, that’s basically where we feel we’ll get our joy,” Jones said.
“It’s just about getting on top early in the contest.
“They’ll be a good side, there’s no easy games for us, but we’re really looking forward to bouncing back in a big way this weekend.”
Suspended duo Zac Walker and Adbulkerim Koc will again be unavailable for the clash, but Jones assures he’s got enough at his disposal to cover the losses.
“Josh Mulcahy has gone up top and gives us a completely different look up there,” he said.
“As much as it’s about what Josh can do himself, he improves us going forward because guys like Tom Morrison and guys that play out wide tend to have a bit more freedom because Josh ties up the centre backs.
“The silver lining of Zac and Gonzalo (Freddi) being out is we get a bit of a look at other avenues to goal.
“We’re getting some flexibility going forward, but we’d like to get a better return from Josh in terms of scoring.
“We seem to be a better side when he’s in it and goals for him are the icing on the cake.”
Sean Pye got through last weekend with a sore hamstring and should be better for the run this weekend.
The mid-season transfer window opens and May 28 and Jones admitted the club will be exploring the option of topping up the squad.