Retiring Sydney FC captain Alex Brosque has labelled the Sky Blues' last two A-League regular season games as "must-win" matches, as they try to earn a precious rest in a hectic month.
Second-placed Sydney, who host Premiers Plate winners Perth on Thursday, hold a two-point advantage over Melbourne Victory.
Both Sydney and the Victory have to play three Asian Champions League (ACL) games through May, when the A-League finals series is held, with Steve Corica's team facing two overseas trips.
However, the team which finishes second, won't have to play in the opening week of the finals, which falls just a few days before the next mid-week round of ACL group games.
"We've got two (A-League) games left and I think both of them are must-win," said Brosque, who announced on Monday he would end his career at the end of the current campaign.
"We've got a lot of travel with the Champions League and just the fact we're competing in both competitions, I think that week off will be welcome to us and give us a bit of a chance to freshen up."
Brosque rates himself a 50-50 chance of playing against Perth after hurting his heel while scoring in the 1-1 Sydney derby draw last Saturday.
"It's not too bad, it's been improving every day, it's still quite sore but I got scans on it yesterday and the results are quite positive," Brosque said.
While Sydney lost all chance of catching Perth, Brosque stressed it would be good to get another win over Glory going into the finals.
The Sky Blues have already split two games in Perth, winning the first and losing the second.
"There's a possibility of playing Perth at some stage in the finals series," Brosque said.
"I think, if at home we get the result as well it will say a lot about us moving into the finals."
He was surprised by the volume of reaction to his retirement announcement, with former teammates joining family, friends and current clubmates in contacting him.
"The past 24 hours have been nice, the messages and things I've received from people, but now it will allow me just to focus back on the football and making sure that we finish top two and then we go on and win it," he said.
Australian Associated Press