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Feb 11, 2022   |  12:58PM AET

Match Preview – Rigby hails squad’s “positive and electric energy” ahead of City showdown

Match Preview – Rigby hails squad’s “positive and electric energy” ahead of City showdown

Skipper Natasha Rigby is confident that Glory are on the crest of a wave heading into Sunday’s eagerly-anticipated Liberty A-League showdown with Melbourne City at Central Coast Stadium (kick-off at 12.05pm).

View Natasha’s full media conference HERE.

Alex Epakis’ side will take on the Victorians looking to extend an unbeaten run of five games which has propelled them into fifth place in the table, equal on points with third-placed Adelaide United.

And Rigby, who is poised to make her 74th appearance in purple this weekend, sees no reason why they cannot maintain their charge for a Finals berth.

“The morale and the energy in the team at the moment is fantastic,” she said.

“We can ride this momentum and hopefully carry this really positive and electric energy into the next game.

“It’s really important for us to feel the emotions and be really elated and happy for what we’re achieving, but it is a very quick turnaround, so we’re having a recovery session today [Friday] and then tomorrow we’ll have another session when we’ll really switch our focus and hone in on a very important game against City.”

There was also no reluctance on Rigby’s part to discuss the prospect of Glory securing a top-four finish which few outside the club predicted at the start of the campaign.

“We’re sitting equal third and we’ve worked it out that it’s looking like a fight between us, [Melbourne] Victory and Adelaide for who makes Finals,” she said.

“Sydney FC and [Melbourne] City both look like they have a pretty sure spot, but us, Adelaide and Victory are all sitting on the same points and it’ll all depend on how we go in these next few games.

“The sacrifices that we’re making being over here for 10 weeks… we’ve got four games and it’s a very real prospect for us, so we need to be pushing for the best.

“Fingers crossed we can do everything we possibly can to secure a spot.”

Thursday’s brave 1-0 victory over Adelaide United marked the second time Glory have claimed three points at Central Coast Stadium this season and Rigby revealed a flourishing fondness for the picturesque Gosford venue.

“We 100% think that it [Central Coast Stadium] is our good luck charm,” she said, “as we’ve had two fantastic games there and we’re really excited to play there again.

“We think we’ve got a couple of the Central Coast fans on side now and that’s really added to the atmosphere.”

In terms of early team news ahead of Sunday, meanwhile, Susan Phonsongkham will miss out through suspension after seeing red against Adelaide, but fellow-forward Leena Khmais is expected to return to the Glory squad.

Epakis will also be able to call upon the services of Liz Anton who will not link up with the rest of the New Zealand squad for the SheBelieves Cup until Monday, while City’s influential Kiwi duo of Rebekah Stott and Hannah Wilkinson will also be available for selection.

Glory will be targeting a first win over the 2020 Champions since November 2018 and could climb as high as outright third place should they secure it.

City, however, have lost just twice thus far this term, to derby rivals Melbourne Victory and league leaders Sydney FC.