Milligan: Asian Cup success has helped me

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May 07, 2015 11:45:08 UK

Melbourne Victory skipper Mark Milligan says the experience of winning the Asian Cup with Australia has benefitted his club career.

Milligan started the year off by helping Ange Postecoglou’s side become the first Australian team to win the continental competition and, having played in their extra-time victory over South Korea in the final, he’s now just 90 minutes away from the chance of appearing in another major final – this time as captain.

Victory face rivals Melbourne City at Etihad Stadium on Friday for the right to face either Sydney FC or Adelaide United in the Grand Final.

It’s the biggest ever meeting between the two teams, with a capacity crowd likely to be on hand to witness the clash of the recently-crowned premiers and John van ‘t Schip’s underdogs.

Victory are 2.00 to beat City, who are 3.50 with the draw 3.60.

Milligan has the Asian Cup Final to draw on to help him prepare mentally for the big game. “The experience of playing under that kind of tension and pressure and having to perform in one-off games definitely helps,” he said.

“Since the Asian Cup I’m definitely a bit calmer, towards the end of games when they can be stressful situations, when you need a goal or something like that. I think I have more control within myself to give a better performance in those situations.”

Victory have been boosted by the return to fitness of defender Jason Geria ahead of the City clash.

Geria, who has been out since the middle of last month with a hamstring injury, is available to play after training strongly this week and he has been promoted to an extended 18-man squad along with Jesse Makarounas.

Victory are 2.37 to qualify for the Grand Final, with City 9.00.

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