POTENTIAL relegation hasn’t even entered the minds of Ballarat Red Devils players and coaches as they enter the final stretch of the National Premier Leagues Victoria season.
The McDonalds Reds will line up against Port Melbourne in round 20 action on Wednesday night in a bid to edge further away from the bottom of the ladder.
Sunday’s win over Werribee City marked the first time in more than a month that the side wasn’t sitting inside the relegation zone.
A win over the Sharks, who sit just one spot above the Reds on the ladder (11th) with 20 points, would go a long way to consolidating the club’s advantage over the bottom two teams.
However, Red Devils player manager James Robinson said ladder positioning was the last thing on his mind.
“I don’t think about it,” Robinson said of the relegation zone.
“We approach this game like every other game and it doesn’t change how we
embrace it or how we deal with it.”
Wednesday’s match will be the second in four days for the Red Devils, and is the second leg of a three-game stretch inside six days.
“Right now, we’re making sure they’re (players) all prepared right with the short turnaround,” Robinson said.
“For us, it’s about gelling and making sure everything’s right.”
Port Melbourne handed Ballarat a 4-0 thrashing in their last encounter, and Robinson is keen to make amends the second time around.
He said his the side
had matured considerably since that fateful match.
“The decision-making has gone up 10-fold because of those experiences,” he said.
“Everyone’s all good, it’s just maintenance on the players at this stage.
“We put them straight into the ice baths after Sunday’s game, we had a pool session last night and we’ll have a preview session tomorrow (on Wednesday),” Robininson said.