Melbourne Victory Coach Ange Postecoglou has demanded AFC and the FFA to confirm who the A-League Champion is, after AFC ruled that last season’s premier’s Central Coast Mariners would directly qualify for the Asian Champions League and Champions Brisbane Roar wouldn’t.
“My biggest problem with that is and it’s been a constant gripe of mine, I just want to know who the champion is. We’re in a race and there’s two different finish lines, in my mind the champion for our league has always been the one that wins the Grand Final, so I am totally bemused how we can take somebody else’s definition of that,” Postecoglou explained.
“It’s pretty simple in my mind…I just want to know what competition I’m in and what I’m going for.
“I just don’t get it, we [put] blood, sweat and tears into everything to win a competition. What’s that competition? I’m not really sure at the moment, I’m not sure who’s going to be acknowledged at the end of the year so I reckon somebody better come out and tell us.
“We’re in a race at the moment and I can’t see the finish line.”
The Victory take on Adelaide United on Friday night as Marcos Flores returns to his old stomping ground, but Postecoglou believes the Argentine won’t be preparing himself different than any another game.
“I don’t think he’s building himself up any differently for this game to any other game and I’d be disappointed if he was.
“He’s been really good for us the last two or three weeks, he’s fitness is now at a good level, he’s able to do more in the role we want him to so he’s an important part of what we do no doubt.”
Flores could expect to receive a hostile reception from his former employers, although Postecoglou is confident that Flores will be able to cope.
“I’m sure he’s experienced enough, he’s been around long enough to be able to cope with that.”
Postecoglou is looking forward to the challenge Adelaide will provide on Friday night.
“It’s another challenge for us going down there. It’ll be a big game.
“They’ve started the season very well, faulted a little the past couple of weeks, but they’re still a quality team so it’ll be a good test for us.”
Victory defeated the Reds in Melbourne 2-1 early in the season and the former Young Socceroos Coach doesn’t expect much difference in the way Adelaide setup.
“Not a great deal, no. They haven’t got the results the last couple of weeks, but they’ve still got some real good quality in their team and particularly at Hindmarsh their record is pretty good so it’s going to be a tough ask for us there, but that’s good, that’s what we want.”
According to Postecoglou the most important aspect is for his side to continue building on their recent good form.
“More important for us is to keep building on what we’re doing. At the end of the day if we keep improving and keep gaining results we’ll stay in touch with the leading pack and we’ve done that for the past four or five weeks,” Postecoglou said.
But Victory will have to do without fullback Adama Traore who picked up a quad strain against Perth with Sam Gallagher replacing the Ivorian.