Wanderers must lift gear or two

WITH three rounds remaining, the Western Sydney Wanderers are in a four-way battle to secure the vital second spot in the A-League ladder.

After their 3-0 win over Perth at Parramatta on Sunday, the Wanderers have opened up a small gap on Melbourne Victory, Mariners and Adelaide, but they will need to keep winning if they don't want to be overtaken.

Their remaining schedule is anything but easy and they will need to lift a gear or two if they want to still be in second place come finals time.

This week the Wanderers travel to Gosford to take on the Mariners on Saturday, with a 5.30pm kick-off.

In round 26, the Wanderers are back at Pirtek Stadium to host Brisbane Roar, who on the weekend took out the Premier's Plate.

In the final round, Melbourne Heart will host the Wanderers at AAMI Park.

There is no doubt the A-League finals format favours the two clubs finishing first and second.

Third plays sixth in the first week of the elimination finals, while fourth hosts fifth. First and second have a week off.

In the second week of the finals, first hosts the lowest ranked winner, while second will clash with the highest ranked winner.

Obviously, the winners from week two progress to the grand final in the third week. The next three weeks will be a big test for the red and black team, coached by Tony Popovic, but they showed last year they can handle the pressure.

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