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JIM'S CRY...'We need to start winning'
MELBOURNE Victory manager Jim Magilton is aware time is running out in his side's bid to make the Hyundai A-League finals.
With just five matches of the regular season remaining, Victory sit eighth on the table, five points off the top six.
The bottom-placed Gold Coast United awaits a Victory side - who have won just two of their last 11 matches – on Saturday and Magilton knows it is time his men start to perform.
"We've got five games to go...we need start to winning games," Magilton told reporters on Friday.
"I think I'm going to have to put a bit of pressure on our lads. We can't rely on other teams. We are building confidence within the football club and the players are confident that they can win games.
"The last two teams we have played (Central Coast and Brisbane), first and second, we were very competitive in both games.
"We certainly gave as good as we got. We won one (and) we lost one but they realise and recognise that we can certainly beat the best in this championship."
While Magilton thinks his side will still be in the finals race even they do not triumph at Skilled Park, their rivals on the table – Sydney, Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Heart – all have winnable home fixtures this weekend.
And Victory's task will be made harder without the injured Fabio (groin) and Danny Allsopp (Achilles) who have both been ruled out of Saturday's fixture.
"Fabio is struggling," he said. "(It) could be a couple of weeks. He is under assessment with the medical team. He's out this weekend and probably next weekend. Unfortunately for Danny, he misses out this weekend (too)."
Magilton has the luxury of bringing Isaka Cernak, Diogo Ferreira and Matthew Foschini, and back into the line-up after they returned from Olyroos duty on Friday, while Matthew Kemp is likely to deputise at left-back in place of Fabio.
But the Northern Irishman is wary of a Gold Coast side who claimed a point in an exciting 3-3 draw with table-toppers Central Coast Mariners on Wednesday.
And the Victory boss is adamant his team need to start well to dampen the enthusiasm of the youthful United side.
"What we have to do is make sure that we start the game well. They are going to be bouncing and they are going to be relishing it. We can't give them any encouragement," he said.
"We have to get on top of this team right from the start because as we have seen, this team can play. There's no doubt about that."
Victory are without an away win in their last eight Hyundai A-League fixtures and will not have happy memories of Skilled Park, with their last visit to the venue signalling the end of their 2010-11 finals campaign as Dino Djulbic's injury time header gave Gold Coast a 1-0 win.