Melbourne City captain Bruno Fornaroli concedes an elimination final exit to Perth Glory this weekend would be a failure for his team, and he’s preaching a calmer approach after last Sunday’s crazy result in Perth.
City will face Glory for the second straight week after losing 5-4 in Perth over the weekend, with Fornaroli and Co. set to host the Western Australians at AAMI Park on Sunday for a spot in the Hyundai A-League semi-finals.
After three defeats – all on the road – in four matches to finish the regular season, City will look to replicate the performance that saw them defeat Glory 2-0 at home at the same stage last year with Fornaroli scoring a double, including a bicycle kick.
Asked on Tuesday if another loss to Perth and subsequent elimination would mean City’s season would be rated as a failure, Fornaroli said: “Of course. We’re here to try and win and this is what we want.
“This is what the club wants, the fans want, so we’re trying to do everything to win the play-offs.”
The Uruguayan striker added that if he didn’t believe City could become the first A-League team to win the championship from outside the top two he would “go home”.
City started the 2016-17 campaign in blistering form, making an early statement with a 4-1 demolition of Melbourne Victory in Round 2 and lifting their first major men’s trophy when they beat Sydney FC in the FFA Cup Final in November.
But since that success, City have won just six of 19 games.
Last week, with third spot and a potential AFC Champions League qualifying berth on the line, City were unable to leapfrog Brisbane Roar as they lost a nine-goal thriller to Perth.
Glory would have moved above City with a four-goal win and were in with a shot at 4-1 with 15 minutes remaining.
But the visitors recovered at nib Stadium to hold onto fourth spot in the A-League table and Fornaroli insisted such football madness shouldn’t be expected in the finals.
“Last Sunday was a crazy game because we both need to win, Perth need to score a lot of goals, we needed to win for Asia so I expect a different game this Sunday,” he said.
“Now we have a long week to fix everything, work hard before the final.
“We need to stay more calm when we have the ball, try to create chances but also try to defend well. This is the first thing but we have confidence about this game.”
Perth have not lost to City in three games this season and have notched wins both home and away.