Port United still harbour ambitions of a top-two finish in the Coastal Premier League

It’s why coach Nathan Wade hasn’t totally abandoned the idea of simply qualifying for the finals – he wants his team to finish as high as they can.

Should they achieve that, it will have a two-fold effect. They will head into the finals full of momentum and they would then subsequently avoid Coffs City United until the grand final.

Their run to a potential grand final berth hopefully starts this weekend when they host Northern Storm in what will be a strange fixture with both teams not having trained for a fortnight.

Whoever has the best base fitness from pre-season training could well determine the outcome.

“It doesn’t really suit us because we play an up-tempo game and without the couple of weeks of fitness it doesn’t suit our style but we’ll see how we go,” Wade said.

“They’re in the situation where they have to win their last two games and hope we only win one to overtake us into fourth. They’ll be desperate this weekend.”

Despite the disrupted past fortnight the Port Macquarie-based side will not alter their playing style as they aim to start what they hope will be three wins in a week that could catapult them into second.

“There’s still the chance of second spot and while it’s a small chance, it’s still a chance. There’s a chance we can be second, there’s a chance we can finish sixth. It’s up to us really,” Wade said.

“Whenever we’ve tried to change the way we play we always seem to struggle if it’s a one-off because we haven’t practiced it for a good part of the pre-season.

“We will still try to be an attacking side because what happens when you say you’re going to defend you end up letting five goals in anyway and it achieves nothing.”

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