City poised to continue climbing ladder

Ballarat City coach Danny Gnjidic made it clear that if his side is a genuine threat to the top teams of the National Premier League two west competition then it must win matches against fellow middle-rung sides like Werribee City.

Werribee sits in ninth position, two places below Ballarat, but Gnjidic was wary of Werribee’s impressive form line having beaten top two side Moreland Zebras last week.

City is also coming off a strong result, defeating Melbourne Victory 2-1. Ballarat may sit in seventh position but it is within reach of second – four points off the pace.

Gnjidic said the group took plenty of confidence from last week’s good win and an impressive past six weeks. But Sunday would provide another test to define City’s standing in the competition.

“We’ve got a bit of form behind us and a bit of confidence,” Gnjidic said.

“There’s no easy games, but if we’re going to continue pushing our way up the ladder then these are the games we need to be winning.

“The message will be - if we’re going to be one of those teams that is a genuine threat to the top two places, we are now putting ourselves in a position where we can be.

“There’s a lot of teams in that logjam so if we want to push our way up then these are the games we need to be winning.”

Werribee has won its past two matches and Gnjidic said it was a very organised side in the back half and work extremely hard. Ballarat’s test would be to match that intensity and find an avenue towards goal against a solid defence.

City will most likely take a settled line-up into the match, but Liam Harding, who is returning from a broken leg, was a standout performer in the under-20 match and is pressing his claim.

Charles King

Charles King