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Coach Rae Dower urges Canberra United to keep foot on W-League pedal

Canberra United coach Rae Dower has urged her players to keep their foot on the pedal as they chase back-to-back W-League titles, adding she won't rest her stars just because they've secured a home semi-final.

Dower will monitor the workload of her players as they set their sights on defending their championship while also juggling Australian Matildas training camps at the AIS.

Canberra booked its finals ticket and locked in second spot on the ladder when it beat Perth Glory 2-0 at the weekend.

The win gives Dower the freedom to experiment with her line-up in the last two regular-season games to make sure she has the right mix for the play-offs.

It also opens the door for someone to step up into the starting side if defender Emma Checker's knee injury rules her out for the rest of the campaign.

Canberra beat Perth in 35-degree heat before catching the red-eye flight back to the capital and the squad's Matildas representatives will go into a training camp this week.


"Our motivation [against Perth] was concreting our spot in the finals and we've got the home semi-final now so that ticks that box," Dower said.

"We've got to see different combinations that we can go forward with and if there's a forced change from Emma's injury, we have to look at that.

"There are probably some players who could do with a bit of rest ... you don't know what can happen. But at the end of the day we need another couple of wins; we don't want to lose the last two.

"We want to win and continue the great momentum we've had the last few weeks."

Canberra is unbeaten in its past seven matches and hasn't conceded a goal since November 29.

Melbourne City is the runaway leader at the top of the table, but Canberra is aiming to snatch the title from the minor premiers.

Their home semi-final will boost their bid, winning all of their games at McKellar since November 2014 and keeping opponents scoreless for the past 530 consecutive minutes of W-League action.

"It was good to keep our undefeated streak under way after the Christmas break, so we're pretty happy," said former skipper Ellie Brush.

"It's awesome that we've got that final at home, especially for our Canberra fans. It keeps the season rolling on. We've had a tough year on the road so we really wanted to lock in second spot."

Defender Checker will have scans on her knee this week, with the results to determine whether she has suffered a serious injury that will prematurely end her season.

Canberra will play the Western Sydney Wanderers at McKellar Park next weekend before going on the road to Adelaide to finish the W-League regular season.


Sunday: Canberra United v Western Sydney Wanderers at McKellar Park, 4pm.