The biggest fight of the Goulburn Valley Suns’ short life is in front of them, but the side is not shying away from it.
With three games left in the National Premier League season, the Suns are holding on to a position in Victoria’s second tier of football by the skin of their teeth, sixth on the NPL2 East table with only the top six to survive relegation.
The Suns have a three-point gap to seventh-placed Melbourne City as well as a six-goal buffer on goal difference, but with both clubs facing tricky fixture lists, it is fair to say anything can happen.
Kicking off the three-week run for the GV’s finest is a trip to Langwarrin and the Suns simply must put in a better performance than what they did in round eight, where they were played off the park in a 3-0 loss.
Suns coach Craig Carley hoped his side’s form against the league’s top sides would hold up and produce a vital three points.
‘‘We seem to play better against the better sides. Langwarrin is one of the sides I’ve been most impressed with this year,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s going to be a real test of character and hopefully the boys can stand up.
‘‘We need everyone to get behind us and the players to stand up.’’
The Suns seemed to have punched their ticket to survival with a 5-3 win against City in round 23, but they have stuttered in the past two fixtures, falling to 1-0 losses to Whittlesea and Geelong, to leave the door open.
With the remaining games tough and the situation surrounding the side even more so, Carley called on his side to show exactly what it was made of.
‘‘All we can do is worry about us and that starts with trying to win these games,’’ he said.
‘‘If we don’t, then we’ll be in a real dogfight, but we’ve got a handy goal difference (buffer) and are still three points ahead of City.’’
Tenacious midfield Matt Lelliott will miss the weekend’s game after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in the Geelong loss, an impressive effort from the prolific yellow card machine to avoid suspension for so long.
The Suns’ under-20s will also tackle Langwarrin, riding a two-game win streak to the contest.
They won in brilliant fashion last weekend, beating Geelong 3-0 with goals from Zac Hutchison, Nuhu Sumailo and Vinnie Barca.
They have now scored eight goals in two games and will look to carry that form to Langwarrin, a side that is sixth on the ladder.
Langwarrin (fourth, away), Murray United (eighth, home), FC Bulleen (second, away), Melbourne City (seventh, 29 points, -5), Manningham United (fifth, away), Eastern Lions (first, away), Northcote City (third, away)