Full-back Jason Davidson believes newly-minted premiers Perth Glory could - and should - rest several players for the final two regular A-League season rounds, to ensure they are fresh and firing for the finals.
Glory, whose 1-0 victory over Newcastle Jets on Sunday night sealed the first leg of an A-League double, travel to tackle Sydney FC on Thursday before facing Wellington Phoenix on home turf on Sunday week.
With nothing left to prove in those two games, and everything to gain from going into their home semi-final on the weekend of May 10-12 against the lowest placed elimination final winner rested and ready, Davidson told The World Game: “The position we’re now in gives us the chance for a bit of a break.
“That gives us the extra time to get everybody fit and ready to go again.
“We can rest players now and that can only be an advantage for us.
“The boys have done a lot of traveling and a bit of tiredness kicks in ... I think it’s the right time now to make sure for prepared just right for finals time.”
Whether coach Tony Popovic sees it that way remains to be seen, starting against second-placed Sydney who would enjoy facing a weakened Glory as they nod to eclipse Melbourne Victory for an all-important second place finish.
With logic in mind, it’s likely Popovic will make some adjustments to accommodate tired legs in his squad as he sets his sights on a fourth grand final after three winless deciders in charge of Western Sydney Wanderers.
Davidson, who has been an almost ever present in a marauding wingback role down the left for Glory, doesn’t see them letting up until a premiership-championship double has been delivered.
A decider at Perth’s opulent Optus Stadium awaits if they progress in their semi.
“We’ve ticked one box and there’s one more to go now,” he added.
“We’ve been the most consistent team all year and if we prepare properly I’m confident we can go on with this.
“We’ve got the momentum behind us and I think the boys are really hungry to finish the job by going all the way to the grand final and winning that as well.
“We’re not going to be complacent but we know what we have to do. It’s a matter of keeping on doing what we’ve been doing.”
Davidson, who has signed a one-year contract extension, is hunting a Socceroos recall for June’s looming friendly against Korea Republic, as he goes up against incumbents Aziz Behich and Alex Gersbach, along with MLS-based Brad Smith.
“The important thing for me has been to get some consistency back in my career and I’ve managed to achieve some of that,” he added.
“We’ve already qualified for the Asian Champions League and to do well in that is another goal, as is getting back into the picture with the Socceroos.
“At some point I’d like to get back to Europe or to play in Asia at a big club, but that can only happen with another good year under my belt here.
“Obviously one of the reasons I came here was to try and get back in the national team.
“I’ve tried to be the best in my position in the league, concentrating on the small details and working hard and being consistent.
“If I get a recall that would be another huge box to tick off this year.”