Box Hill United host Murray United in the NPL2 on Saturday afternoon, and head coach Brian Vanega wants leaders in his team to step up for the cause.
The home side are desperately seeking an upturn in their fortunes, after three straight defeats. They sit ninth on the ladder with 23 points, their safety in the division still not guaranteed.
Previewing the weekend’s fixture, Vanega said: “It’s an important game. We are still not mathematically clear of Nunawading [City FC]. So, we have to get a result to make sure that we are mathematically clear. The players are absolutely focused on that. Murray have varied the way they have played this season. They can go a little bit longer and play some good football at stages. So, it’s quite difficult to prepare for them.”
He reasoned that leaders in the Box Hill dressing room need to have a say on the pitch: “It’s a mentality thing for the group at the moment. We are just trying to push them to actually take that next step now, and as a group.
“It is quite a younger dressing room, and that’s the difficulty – you don’t have one leader actually leading them all on the pitch and demanding that five or ten per cent more from them, or demand that they continue all the way through the game. We need the players who have the potential to do that and take that next step. There are several players that are good performers for the team and can take that next step. [But] one voice among 11 is not enough, we need more.”