Bertos goes undercover

LEO BERTOS won’t play a part on the field for the Wellington Phoenix this weekend but the injured flyer still hopes to have some input off it when the Phoenix take on his former teammates in Perth.

LEO BERTOS won-t play a part on the field for the Wellington Phoenix this weekend but the injured flyer still hopes to have some input off it when the Phoenix take on his former teammates in Perth.

The Phoenix left Wellington today en route to Perth for Sunday-s Hyundai A-League round five match minus former Glory star Bertos, who has been ruled out of the game with a minor groin injury.

Bertos said he would try and help the Phoenix by providing some intelligence about his former club as the New Zealand-based outfit seeks to maintain its perfect record against the Western Australians.

The Phoenix beat the Glory 3-0 and 4-1 in their two showdowns at Westpac Stadium last season and also grabbed a gritty 1-0 win at Members Equity Stadium in the away fixture.

“They-ve made quite a number of changes since I was there but if there-s anything I can do to help [coach] Ricki Herbert with any information I can give then I-ll definitely do that. I might try to make a few phone calls in the next couple of days and see what I can dig up…”

Still hampered by a niggling groin strain, Bertos was disappointed the injury had forced him out of the squad making the marathon journey to Perth.

“It would have been nice to go back and see the boys and catch up with a few people there that I haven-t seen since I was there last year. But, more importantly, it-s disappointing that I won-t be going there to play. It-s a good time to play them and for us to try and pick up some points.”

Although the Glory have struggled in the early stages of the new season, Bertos said the Phoenix would not be underestimating them

“On their day Perth can beat anyone, it-s just a matter of whether they ‘turn up- or not - pretty similar to us, I guess. They-ve got a few injuries and obviously their confidence is down, so we have to take advantage of those things.

“You don-t want to get too far behind everyone else; otherwise you-re playing game by game to catch up. It-s important to play against the teams that haven-t really got going and try to pick up the points.”

Sunday-s match in Perth kicks off at 3pm AWST (5pm AEST, 7pm NZST).

Wellington Phoenix Squad. 1. Mark PASTON (gk), 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 4. Jon McKAIN, 5. Karl DODD, 6. Tim BROWN, 9. Shane SMELTZ, 10. Michael FERRANTE, 11. DANIEL, 12. Richard JOHNSON, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 15. Adam KWASNIK, 16. David MULLIGAN, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 20. Glen MOSS (gk), 21. Leilei GAO, 22. Andrew DURANTE (captain). * one to be omitted