Returning Melbourne Victory skipper Mark Milligan wants to make up for lost time in the Hyundai A- League – his first goal, though, is to help the Big V push towards the Premiership trophy.
Milligan has missed Victory’s last six games due to serving a three-game ban as well as his involvement in the Socceroos’ stunning Asian Cup triumph last month.
But he is expected to come right back into the starting line-up for Saturday night’s blockbuster clash with Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium and Milligan plans to make up for lost time.
“It’s a great honour to have been part of that side that won the Asian Cup on home soil but as a few days passed my focus turned to the next challenge and that’s the minor premiership with Victory,” Milligan told reporters on Wednesday.
“I think we can really push now for that top spot. I know that’s high on everyone’s agenda and that’s very important for us.
“We want to be up and about the top two – it’s very important come finals time.”
Ironically the 29-year-old’s last appearance for Victory was also against the Sky Blues back in December, a thrilling 3-3 draw at Etihad Stadium.
Milligan was banned for a stray elbow on Sky Blues midfielder – and Socceroo team-mate – Terry Antonis.
While admitting he deserved his suspension, Milligan admits it could have seriously affected his Asian Cup preparations.
“I got my three games, which I have absolutely no problem with. But maybe down the line it’s something that they (Hyundai A-League officials) can look at,” Milligan said.
“Simply because you want your players playing at a national level available for as many club games (as possible) as well.
“I don’t want to see any other players in the same situation I was even though it was all my doing.”
Asked about facing the Sky Blues, who have won their last two matches comfortably, Milligan said: “They’re looking very sharp and scoring a lot of goals.
“They have a few suspensions with the centre-backs, but I think they’ve got enough depth to cover that.”
Victory will move top of the Hyundai A-League ladder for 24 hours at least should they win on Saturday night, with first-placed Glory not in action until Sunday when they travel to Adelaide.