Soccer-Western United's Aloisi expects twists and turns in race for playoffs

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- Western United coach John Aloisi hopes his side will catch newly-crowned A-League Premiership winners Melbourne City at just the right time as they look to squeeze into the playoffs.

Western United's 1-0 win over second-placed Adelaide United on Sunday ensured City cannot be overtaken before the end of the regular season.

The result also keeps alive Western United's hopes of retaining the Championship, which they won last year with an unexpected Grand Final victory over City.

Aloisi's side are eighth and sit three points behind Sydney FC, who occupy the sixth and final playoff berth.

"We have to play Melbourne City this week and who knows how they will be feeling after their result? We don't know, but we have to worry about ourselves and try and win that game," Aloisi said of Saturday's game.

"And then we go to Perth. Perth might still be alive. There are twists and turns that will happen. Sydney have a tough game in Brisbane with the conditions up there, Brisbane are still alive. There are still teams there fighting for the top six."

Western United have struggled to match last season's showing when they won their first title three years after joining the league but Aloisi was proud of how his team have kept fighting.

"The attention and expectations are always going to be there when you're champions, but there was a lot that went on in our offseason and pre-season with injuries, lack of form," said Aloisi.

"To still be there competing is testament to the players, the club sticking together.

"The boys aren't going to stop, they don't give up and that has to be in our DNA all the time. We might be dark horses, we might not make the finals, but we're going to give it everything we can."

(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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