Ange pumped for the big stage

Friday, 25 January 2013 12:53 PM

Ange pumped for the big stage

Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou is confident his team can cope with the big occasion of a sell-out derby crowd against Sydney FC on Australia Day.

In-form Victory meet an improving Sky Blues side on Saturday and a win - along with other results going their way - could see Postecoglou's men jump into the top two.

With 10 games remaining this Hyundai A-League season, Postecoglou said matches would grow in importance and believes a huge crowd at AAMI Park is good preparation for his side.

"It's the big stage. Individuals and teams get tested on the big stage," Postecoglou said on Friday.

"So as we're getting into the pointy end of the season, games will get bigger and bigger with more and more importance and tomorrow night's a little bit of a dress rehearsal to see how we cope with all that.

"I'm pretty confident with the way the players are travelling and we're travelling as a team that we'll be up for it."

Midfielder Billy Celeski and defender Nick Ansell are likely to return into the starting 11 after missing last week's 1-0 win over Perth Glory because of suspension and injury respectively.

Postecoglou said he was eager to see Victory perform in front of an expected crowd of close to 30,000.

"It'll be great. Like I said, it's special for our code but this stadium it's really built for our game," he said.

"And to know it's going to be absolutely jam packed tomorrow and I think there's a genuine excitement about the contest as well.

"Sydney are going OK, we're travelling all right so it gives an extra edge to the game. I'm really looking forward to it."

Victory's women host the Westfield W-League Grand Final against Sydney at AAMI Park on Sunday, while their National Youth League team sit second on the table ahead of the derby against Heart.

Postecoglou believes it could be a 'great weekend' for the club, beginning with the Australia Day Hyundai A-League encounter.

"It's great to see all three sides doing well. They should be doing well," he said.

"It's Melbourne Victory Football Club and when you represent that club you're expected to be the best and it's good to see that all three sides are doing well.

"I watched the women's game (against Perth). It was a heart-stopper last week - the semi-final - and hopefully they get up this week and like I said, it'd be a great weekend for the whole football club.

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