Belconnen United coach Michael Zakoski has urged his players to back themselves to avoid a relegation fight as they prepare to clash with the West Canberra Wanderers in a season-defining match.
The seventh-placed Belconnen and last-placed Wanderers will go head to head at Melrose on Saturday as part of a battle to avoid the bottom the ladder.
Zakoski wants his players to believe in themselves and their own game in what could be a crucial clash, batting away ladder talk to focus on a one-off win.
"I don't have a concern with how we're playing. There is a good fighting spirit in the team. It's important for us to keep believing in what we are doing," Zakoski said.
Wary of a hot Wanderers side, Zakoski is adamant Belconnen have what it takes to stay up, urging his team to stay focused on the games ahead rather than the potential of relegation.
"It's just another game for us. This will definitely be the toughest Wanderers team we will have played," Zakoski said.
"We're not fixated on relegation. We are fixated on getting the best result we can.
"It's important for us to keep believing in what we are doing and find that extra 5 or 10 per cent that might be the difference in us drawing games or converting to a win."
The Wanderers broke through for their second win of the season last week, but they still need to make up ground on Belconnen United and Canberra Olympic.
Wanderers coach Dom English welcomes the challenge, implores his players to stay optimistic on the road ahead, knowing this game is a big opportunity to help avoid the threat of relegation.
"There are plenty of points left in the competition. We can take points from every team. The boys have not lost the belief that we belong in first grade and they believe we will stay there," English said.
"All of our games at the moment are very important games to get points in.
"It's a game for position on the table this week. It would be a great opportunity to put ourselves in a much better position for the rest of the season.
"I am very confident we can win this match if we do the things we have been working on."
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