Top eight still on table for Echuca United

May 01, 2018

ECHUCA United head coach Guy Campbell said a top eight finish was still on the table after his side’s first win of the season on Saturday.

United snapped its four-game losing streak when they smashed Congupna by 97 points in front of the High St faithful.

This weekend the Eagles have a bye, so can luxuriate in that first win a little longer.

Before hitting the road to meet league latecomer Tungamah — one of the former Picola league sides to swap competitions after the season started.

Shock outcomes aside, this must be a game United has inked in on the win ledger. And if Campbell is serious about his finals’ plan a game it has no choice but to win, and win well.

It certainly has the firepower — starring for the Eagles against Congupna was Farran Priest, who booted seven. Priest is joint top of the Murray Football League goal charts with 19, alongside Tungamah’s Ashley Saunders.

‘‘I’m rapt that he kicked so many, but it was the other guys in the team around him who allowed him the space and time to do that,’’ Campbell said.

He said a raft of small changes throughout the week led to the victory.

‘‘I’m very happy with the result, as are the rest of the playing group.

‘‘It’s finishing off that has let us down in the past, but in terms of work rate and effort, their work as a unit has been top notch.

‘‘It was also blokes getting their heads around the roles they play in the team, and how that affects those around them (that we worked on),’’ he said.

Campbell said the weekend’s score line did not come as a shock — rather an assurance that the team’s management have got it right.

‘‘I wasn’t surprised by the result. I’ve been of the thought that it could have happened from round one. We still had things definitely not go our way on the day, but it was us sticking to our roles, whether it was hard, easy or otherwise, that gave us the win.

‘‘It was positive after the game, and there was a realisation about the end result and what we’d worked for. That bit of belief and confidence will help us going into the next game,’’ he said.

With the side’s maiden victory of the year, Campbell said the side could be a shout for the finals.

‘‘It definitely gets us back on track. What was generally 12 games to make the eight in the old league, it could well be 10 wins this year, you just don’t know.

‘‘We’ll certainly be like every team in the competition and we’ll be aiming to not lose. Top eight is still on the cards,’’ he said.

Leigh Sobotnicki injured his leg in the match and will be out for an unknown period of time.

‘‘He’s going in today to have it looked at, but we think it could be his hamstring or glutes, he was the major loss for the day,’’ Campbell said.

Whether the week off is enough to see him back for May 12 remains to be seen.

But the Eagles will still need to be able to win on the field, not the selection table.

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