Sam Staab is convinced Western Sydney Wanderers are still in the hunt for the Westfield W-League Championship ahead of Thursday night's clash with Premiers-elect Melbourne City.
After going unbeaten in their first six games, the Wanderers' hopes of clinching a remarkable maiden Premiership were battered over a run in which Dean Heffernan's side have claimed just a single win in their past four matches.
The Red and Black have dropped down to third position, slipping behind rivals Sydney FC on the ladder following their 3-0 defeat to the reigning Champions last Saturday.
The departure of United States international Lynn Williams came as the latest blow to a team which has struggled to replace the midfield gap left by Denise O'Sullivan.
But Staab believes the Red and Black can still recover.
“A lot of the girls are champing at the bit and have a lot of energy trying to get on the field and in training to show themselves and show what they can do to the coaches and to all of us on the field who have been playing,” Staab told the club's official website.
“I think that energy and tenacity is so great for the team and for what we are trying to portray in the environment that we want in training and eventually that will lead into to the game.
“I think its great everyone has stepped up and done a tremendous job just pushing each person to the max.”
Thursday's clash with runaway leaders Melbourne City looked at one stage like a winner-takes-all match for the Premiers Plate. Instead, it will almost certainly be another coronation for the three-time Champions, who need a point to seal the deal.
City are on an incredible nine-match winning run, and have kept six consecutive clean sheets.
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“Melbourne City are obviously a tremendous team and in great form, but if we come out and do our best and show who we are as a team and as individuals, then I think everything will turn out in our favour," said Staab.
“This game is massive for us, it’s really big for momentum and really big to show how good we are and what we can accomplish this year.
“I would definitely say we are ready to go and that we have had this game marked on the calendar for a while. Finally, we are here and it’s time to play and we are all ready to go and fire up."
Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne City
Thursday, 20 February 2020
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT