FIRED up for FINALS RACE

Club captain Jacob Burns is adamant that Perth Glory won't underestimate the threat posed by Wellington Phoenix in Sunday afternoon's crunch clash at nib Stadium.

Club captain Jacob Burns is adamant that Perth Glory won't underestimate the threat posed by Wellington Phoenix in Sunday afternoon's crunch clash at nib Stadium.

The Kiwi have been in Perth all week preparing for the game and Burns believes the ‘Nix will provide a stern test in a game Glory must win to keep their own finals hopes alive.

"Today's session was pretty intense," he said, "and the boys are fired up and raring to go.

"It's a huge game for us.

"Wellington aren't going to be an easy team and we need the three points, just as we do in each of our remaining games which are all must-wins.

"Sometimes it's even harder to play against teams that are relaxed, so we are not underestimating the quality that they've got in their squad.

"We're expecting them to come here, try and enjoy themselves and give us a tough game."

The 34-year-old midfielder is hoping to make his first start since late January having made a full recovery from a nagging back problem, but is aware that he faces a battle to try and force his way back into a side that has won three of its last four games.

"Obviously it's up to the manager whether I start," he said, "but I definitely want to be in there fighting for the cause.

"I've had a good week of training under my belt this week and I was pleased to get some game time in last weekend, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens."

And despite his frustration at not being able to play as active a role as he would have liked, Burns has been hugely impressed by Glory's resurgence under new coach Alistair Edwards.

"We've not only won three of our last four," he said, "we've also played some really attractive football and we have a definite chance to make the six.

"It would be a wonderful story to turn the season around and make the finals and once you're in the finals, anything can happen.

" If we could go one step better than last year, that would be a fairy tale for us.

"We're in front of our home crowd on Sunday, nib Stadium is almost finished and looking great, so we're hoping we can get a good crowd in who'll get behind us and help us get the win."

Versatile defender Steve Pantelidis is Glory's only likely injury absentee for the Phoenix clash, with Nick Ward having shaken off his quad injury and Travis Dodd confirming that he too is back firing on all cylinders.

"I missed the Sydney game with a little calf injury, but I-m fully fit now," he said.

"Other players have come in and done really well and now it's a case of working hard at training and hoping to get that opportunity again.

"Alistair would be hard pressed to drop any of the wide players at the moment given the form they're in."

PERTH GLORY v WELLINGTON PHOENIX Sunday, 17 March Nib stadium Kick-off: 4pm