Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante is reluctant to look further ahead than Sunday’s game against Central Coast Mariners at Westpac Stadium but is confident the future is bright.
Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante is reluctant to look further ahead than Sunday-s game against Central Coast Mariners at Westpac Stadium but is confident the future is bright.
“It will be tough this week because Mariners are a good team who have made a habit of picking up points against us here,” Durante said after the team-s final training run.
“We know we are in for a big game and have to forget our last three wins and concentrate on playing the right way in this one and hopefully have a big crowd behind us.
“If we keep playing the way we are the finals will take care of themselves.”
It might have taken the Phoenix till the 11th game of the season to register their first win, but Durante was never in doubt the moment would arrive sooner rather than later.
“The key to our recent wins is that we stuck with the style of play that we believed was the right one and would eventually get us points,” he said.
“For the first 10 rounds we were playing entertaining football and the only thing missing was putting the ball in the net.
“We kept the faith and in the last three games have got our reward.
“The frustrating run we had was extremely hard for both Ernie and the players because it can become very disheartening.
“Lesser players could easily fallen in a heap and gone back to our old style of football but we stuck together, believing in the way Ernie has us playing.”
Especially pleasing for Durante, who is in his sixth season with the club, was that two of the three wins came away from home.
“In previous seasons away wins were few and far between and now we have had two in a row,” he said.
“When you look at their home record Western Sydney Wanderers is a big scalp to get on the road, and to get a win in Melbourne after seven years of trying was special.”
The game kicks off at 7pm.
Sunday, 12 January 2014 Wellington Phoenix v Central Coast Mariners Westpac Stadium, Wellington Kick-off: 7:00pm local (5:00pm AEDT) Referee: Matthew Gillett Assistant Referee 1: Jan-Hendrik Hintz Assistant Referee 2: Glen Lochrie Fourth Official: Alex Azcurra
TV Broadcast: 5.00pm (AEDT) Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1HD. Sky Sport 3 7.00pm
Radio Broadcast: Full coverage ABC Grandstand Digital Online/Mobile phone app
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #WELvCCM
To purchase tickets visit www.wellingtonphoenix.com/tickets
Wellington Phoenix Squad: 1.Glen Moss (GK), 2.Manny Muscat, 5.Michael Boxall, 6.Josh Brindell-South, 7.Leo Bertos, 9.Kenny Cunningham, 10.Stein Huysegems, 11.Jeremy Brockie, 12.Tyler Boyd, 13.Albert Riera, 15.Jason Hicks, 16.17.Vince Lia, 18.Ben Sigmund, 20.Lewis Italiano (GK), 21.Carlos Hernandez, 22.Andrew Durante (c), 23.Matthew Ridenton. **one to be omitted**
Ins: 21.Carlos Hernandez (returns from injury). Outs: 3.Reece Caira (Australia U22), 16.Louis Fenton (shoulder injury). Unavailable: 3.Reece Caira (Australia U22), 8.Paul Ifill (ruptured Achilles, 8-12 months), 16.Louis Fenton (shoulder injury, season).