Sunbury United has five weeks to avoid a second straight relegation in FFV state league competition.

Having gone down a division last year, United is second bottom in state league 2 north-west.

The bottom two sides will be relegated.

United coach Brian Sweeney believes his side is good enough to stay up.

“If we can get two wins, we might survive,” he said. “The game against Essendon United [August 13] is crucial – it could decide if we stay up.

“If we don’t win it, we don’t deserve to stay up. Relegation will be a blow for the club, but we are strong enough to handle it.”

Sweeney, who took over coaching midway through the season, said a lack of confidence was an issue for a side that hasn’t won many matches in the past three years.

“We’ve had a few injuries and we’re still figuring out how to gel together,” he said.

“It’s going to be tough for the boys. The confidence in the players is very low … I’m trying to get the belief back up. I’ve got very young players who lack experience to finish off teams.

“Lack of experience and lack of confidence makes it even harder for them.”

Some of United’s best performances this season have come against sides towards the top of the ladder.

Sweeney said the pressure of not necessarily expecting to win seemed to do wonders for the players.

On Saturday, though, they were disappointing in a 4-1 loss to Hume United.

Hume United led 2-0 at half-time after Sunbury missed a penalty just before the break.

Sweeney said he saw lots of positives at the club, which is why he wanted to be in the head role long term.

Sweeney started the season coaching Altona East Phoenix before moving back to United, a club close to his heart.

“I’ve been a part of Sunbury for a long time now,” Sweeney said.

“I knew it was going to be a tough gig, but I always believed I could help.

“The vision I see for the club is they will be a division 1 club, even an NPL club, in the next five to 10 years.

“There’s 200 juniors at the club and that’s what excites me. I want to try to get the junior sides and the pathway into the senior team set up.

“Australian player Jamie McLaren grew up in Sunbury but played most of his junior games outside of Sunbury. I want players to play a couple of years of seniors here before moving on.”