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Wales admits Finals start ‘four weeks early’ for Western United

Lachie Wales Western United

Western United attacker Lachie Wales admitted that the Green and Black is getting into Finals mode a month early ahead of the final four matches of the Isuzu UTE A-League Men regular season.

United sits just two points outside of the top six and will be eager to secure consecutive Finals appearances for the first time in the Club’s history.

Ahead of the side’s Good Friday clash against Central Coast Mariners in Ballarat, Wales said belief remained high in the squad but the No.8 played down the must-win attitude.

“We have plenty of confidence. Last season we went into the Finals and had to win every game from that third position. It would be the same case now, and we just have to start the Finals four weeks early,” he said.

“It’s about sticking to our structures and not letting that must-win feeling creep into it. That will be really important for us over the next four weeks, there’s a lot of points up for grabs and in this league if you win two or three games, you can go up the ladder very quickly.”

Wales is playing himself into a strong run of form with three goals and an assist in his last nine matches, coinciding with an upturn in United’s fortunes as a team.

Two of Wales’ best recent performances came in Ballarat where he scored against Newcastle Jets and provided an assist against Perth Glory.

The 25-year-old said he is looking forward to returning to a venue that has given him and the team a lot of recent joy.

“It’s a bit of a happy hunting ground for me. Every time I go out there I seem to have a good performance so fingers crossed I can do the same,” he said.

“It’s always good to go down to Ballarat to spread the game and to see our fans down there. We get quite a good turnout there, so if they can all come out on Friday that’d be unreal for Easter and hopefully we can get the three points and celebrate that.”

Western United continues to grow the game throughout the west of Victoria, and Wales noted the significant support from Ballarat’s younger generation whenever the Green and Black comes to town.

“It’s good to see so many kids out there, it’s a real family community and to see so many little kids with their parents enjoying the game is awesome for our club,” he said.

The fixture itself will see Wales come up against his boyhood club, an experience he said is always a special one.

“It’s always good, it’s where I’m from. It was the first club that ever gave me a professional environment to train in and play at, so I’m always grateful for that,” he said.

“I’m a proud Central Coast boy, but I’ll be looking to do a job on them on Friday.”

Wales has scored against Central Coast once before during his time at Melbourne City, and John Aloisi will be eager to see him do it again on the way to a positive result for his side.