Jaded Roar keeping its finals hopes alive
FOUR consecutive losses has seen defending champion Brisbane slip eight points behind sixth-placed Melbourne City on the A-League table, but defender Jade North is refusing to give up on his team's chances of making the finals.
The Roar still has one game in hand - against the Victory at home on April 15 - but will need to win its remaining five games, starting with the Central Coast Mariners at home tonight, to reach the play-offs.
"We're still going to have a crack. We've got to rely on results now. We've got the Asian Champions League to look forward to as well, so we're taking it game by game," North said.
"I'm sure the coaching staff are going to pick the strongest 11 possible. We're still getting a couple of players coming back from international duty (including Socceroos Matt McKay and Luke DeVere, and Olyroos Corey Brown and James Donachie) so we'll see how they pull up."
Even if the side missed the finals, North said there had been positives.
"We've had a guy like Borrello (19-year-old striker Brandon Borrello) come through. He's been fantastic," the Socceroo said.
"When I first came to the club he was only a young kid in the youth team, and now he's scoring goals week-in, week-out for us."
With just four rounds remaining - plus the postponed Roar v Victory match - APN has run the rule over the closest competition we have seen in years to see how the top seven teams might finish.
Wellington Phoenix: (1st; 42 points) - games to come: Victory (loss), City (draw), Mariners (win) and Sydney FC (draw).
Predicted finish: Third on 47 points.
Melbourne Victory (2nd, 41 points) - games to come: Phoenix (win), Jets (win), Roar (win), Roar (win) and Mariners (win).
Predicted finish: First on 56 points.
Sydney FC (3rd, 41 points) - games to come: Adelaide United (win), Perth (draw), Jets (win) and Phoenix (draw).
Predicted finish: Second on 49 points.
Adelaide United (5th, 40 points) - games to come: Sydney FC (loss), Roar (win), Western Sydney (win) and Melbourne City (win).
Predicted finish: fourth on 49 points.
Perth Glory (4th, 41 points) - games to come: Jets (draw), Sydney FC (draw), City (win) and Western Sydney (draw).
Predicted finish: Fifth on 47 points.
Melbourne City (6th, 33 points) - games to come: Western Sydney (draw), Phoenix (draw), Glory (loss) and Adelaide United (loss).
Predicted finish: Sixth on 35 points.
Brisbane Roar (7th, 25 points) - games to come: Central Coast (win), Adelaide United (loss), Victory (loss), Victory (loss) and Jets (win) to come.
Predicted finish: Seventh on 31 points.
Central Coast (8th, 20 points), Western Sydney (9th, 14 points) and Newcastle (10th, 14 points) have no hope of making the final six.