Subiaco player-coach Ian McMurray admits the spectre of relegation from the NPL WA is hanging over the club but is backing his players to get them out of trouble.
Subiaco have lost their last four matches, conceded four goals in each of their last three, and slumped to second bottom on the table.
With two sides certain to go down and even third bottom not guaranteed safety, Subiaco have four games to turn their season around starting away at reigning champions Bayswater on Saturday.
“Individual errors during games are just killing us week in, week out, and we’re just trying to get the mindset right for the last four games,” McMurray said.
“The tempo’s still there. High intensity training this week again, it’s been good. The morale is pretty good as well, but in the games we make a little mistake and get punished for it.”
Asked whether the prospect of relegation comes into their thinking, McMurray said: “Of course it is, we’ve got to realise the position we’re in and what’s at stake. It’s the whole club that’s affected, the juniors as well, so yes there’s a bit of pressure but we’re here for a reason that’s why we’re playing for the club.
“We’re the boys that’s got us into this position and we’re the boys that can get us out. Four games to go and we’re after four wins, that’s what we’re looking at.”
It can’t be often that a team in Subiaco’s position and on their sequence of results go into a fixture as the “form” side, especially when Bayswater are the opponents. However Chris Coyne’s side have lost their last six, a run that has killed their chances of retaining the title and put a top-four finish in the balance.
McMurray added: “Bayswater have lost their last six but they have quality. But we’re confident going into the match tomorrow.”
The two sides immediately above Subiaco, Forrestfield and Stirling Lions, also have testing fixtures on Saturday.
Third from bottom Forrestfield, who were unlucky to lose 2-1 at home to Inglewood last weekend, host ECU Joondalup while Stirling, a place above, might need to keep 11 men on the pitch if they are to overcome second top Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens. Stirling have had six players sent off in their last four fixtures.
Victory for Perth SC is imperative if they are to have a hope of reeling in leaders Perth Glory.
Glory are unbeaten in 12 matches and have a six-point buffer but have a demanding game at third placed Inglewood, who are of course coached by Glory’s A-League striker Andy Keogh.
Sorrento have come good at the right time, as shown in their 5-1 win over Cockburn last week, and another three points against relegated Joondalup United at Percy Doyle Reserve could put them on the cusp of safety.
Balcatta will look to pile more misery on faltering Cockburn at Dalmatinac Park, while it will be interesting to see how Armadale have recovered from their midweek venture to Cairns in the FFA Cup when they take on Floreat Athena at Alfred Skeet Reserve. Three points for Floreat will ensure they remain in the NPL if other results also go their way.
Fixtures Saturday, August 4 (all 3pm)
Armadale v Floreat Athena (Alfred Skeet Reserve)
Cockburn City v Balcatta (Dalmatinac Park)
Perth SC v Stirling Lions (Dorrien Gardens)
Bayswater City v Subiaco (Frank Drago Reserve)
Joondalup United v Sorrento (Percy Doyle Reserve)
Inglewood United v Perth Glory (Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium)
Forrestfield United v ECU Joondalup (Wildlife Safari Stadium)