BALLARAT Red Devils are playing to give their National Premier Leagues West Vic 2 season some impetus on Saturday.
The McDonald’s Reds come up against Melbourne City at Latrobe University.
David King will miss the game after pulling up with a sore knee at training on Thursday night, while goalkeeper Aaron Romein is also out after receiving a red card.
Coach James Robinson said while he would wait until match day before finalising his line-up, Simon Murphy was a likely inclusion after an interrupted pre-season.
He said Murphy had been in a rich vein of form – scoring two hat-tricks over the past three rounds in the under-20 competition as he worked back to full fitness.
Robinson said Murphy had been given time to get right, with the focus over the past month being on getting minutes into him.
Melbourne City is another testing assignment for Ballarat, which has lost its last two games and desperately needs to bounce back from a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Dandenong.
The Reds sit seventh on six points after six games, while fourth-placed Melbourne City is on 10 and well in striking distance of top team Whittlesea.
Robinson said the Reds remained committed to a high-energy, high-pressing game to create chances.
He said they needed to be mindful that defence also started at the front.