Coach says Victory are still on track

Last updated 16:52 01/03/2013

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Melbourne Victory coach Ange  Postecoglou is confident his listless side can find the form and  winning momentum they need to challenge in the looming A-League  finals.

Socceroo Archie Thompson trained strongly on Friday and is set  to return as the Victory look to end a run of three losses when  they host Newcastle on Sunday afternoon at AAMI Park.

The Jets have given them a helping hand by resting marquee  player Emile Heskey and striker Michael Bridges, while Thompson  looks to have recovered from a hamstring injury.

''It's great to have him back in the side,'' Postecoglou said.

''He's an important part of what we do.''

Postecoglou hasn't pushed the panic button following his  fourth-placed team's 6-2 shocker against ladder leaders Central  Coast.

He said it was more important for them to peak for the finals  with four rounds remaining after this weekend.

''Whatever happened last week or the week before, it's really  important in the next five weeks that we hit our best form of the  year,'' said Postecoglou.

''If we do that on the eve of the finals, it gives us the best  chance to win the competition.

''There's no point in peaking today and not being right when the  finals come around.''

The coach said losing to the A-League's top three teams in their  past three games was an ''indicator'' of where they were at.

The Victory at least have an easy run home, meeting five of the  bottom six clubs.

Postecoglou wasn't surprised the Jets opted to rest Heskey,  given his 35 years and heavy travel schedule with four games in 14  days, and said he would have done the same.

The Jets are among five teams vying for the final two finals  spots.

''If anything, they're going to have a fresh side out there full  of running which will be a challenge for us.''

Midfielder Zenon Caravella will also miss the trip to Melbourne  with a hamstring injury he sustained against the Phoenix, while Sam  Gallaway is in major doubt after hyper-extending his knee.

''We can't afford to be really poor again,'' said Postecoglou.

''The most important thing for us is to get back to playing good  football.''

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