Jacob Timpano admits the Wolves’ finals hopes are, in part, out of their control so he intends to keep his side focused on what they can.
For the third year Wollongong coach, that means winning the matches in front of them over a massive last four rounds in the NSW NPL.
If the Wolves can do that, Timpano knows it will give his side the best possible chance of playing finals football in 2017.
But he also knows it comes with no guarantee.
“With the way the ladder is, we can only really take it week by week and hope results elsewhere go our way,” the coach said.
“I keep telling the boys that we are in good form at this stage of the season comparable to most other teams in the league so we just need to keep doing what we are doing.
“We have won two on the bounce and five of our last seven in the second half of the season.”
Wollongong’s strong form in the second half of the season has seen them move just three points outside the top five.
The Wolves (28 points) are seventh, but need Rockdale City Suns (34), Manly United (33), Sydney Olympic (31) and/or Sydney United 58 (30) to slip on the run home to play in the post-season.
It makes three points in games like Sunday’s against rivals Sutherland Sharks at Albert Butler Memorial Park all the more important.
The Sharks have struggled this season, but showed what they can do at their best by knocking Wollongong out of the FFA Cup earlier this campaign.
“They are a tricky team to play against, there is no doubt about it,” Timpano said.
“The season probably hasn’t gone the way they would have liked but at this time of the season you are going to face a team for of players who still want to prove themselves for next season.
“We know they are a tough opponent and will we will have to take our chances when they present themselves. We have defended well across the part in the past few weeks so hopefully that can continue.”
Attacking weapon Patrick Antelmi (suspension) and Hristijan Tanoski (injury) are back available for selection for the match.