No Change Of Plan For Phoenix

Don’t expect to see a change of game plan when the Wellington Phoenix play Sydney FC at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.

Don-t expect to see a change of game plan when the Wellington Phoenix play Sydney FC at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.

Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante said he was surprised to read a newspaper article quoting former All White Danny Hay saying the Phoenix game plan was stale and keeping the fans away.

Hay also said the days were gone when people were happy to just see the ball lumped down the field.

“I-ve been quite happy with the way we-ve been playing this season,” Durante said.

“The only thing missing is that we haven-t been putting the ball in the net.

“We are not a team that lumps it long, just as we don-t have a lot of intricate play in our build like Brisbane Roar do.

“A lot of teams are trying to play like Brisbane, playing out a lot from the back and getting caught.

“We aren-t a team that takes risks at the back but we do try to get the ball out to our fullbacks and wingers.

“We don-t build up through the middle, we like to get it out wide and get crosses into the box. You can see that from our stats which show we often have more balls into the penalty area than our opponents.

“That is positive in that it puts teams on the back foot. Obviously sometimes it has to be a bit scrappy and a case in point was when we went to Brisbane..

“There are times when you have to change and the plan we used that day worked pretty well. Not many teams are going to get a point from Suncorp as we did.”

Team-mate Manny Muscat agreed with his captain-s assessment of the season so far.

“Considering our limited numbers through injuries and suspensions we-ve played some pretty good football, had lots of possession and created plenty of chances,” Muscat said.

“The reason we haven-t been winning is simple. We haven-t been scoring goals and that has to change.

“There will always be games where you play well and don-t get the points, and vice versa.

”Taking three points from our home games is crucial because historically we haven-t done well away.

“Actually we have played better away this season - don-t ask me why - but need to get more from games.

“Sydney have been a bit like us - playing well without results going their way, but the league is so tight that a couple of wins on the trot can put you in the top four.

“If we keep believing in ourselves and keep playing good football the results will come. Hopefully it starts on Sunday.”

Wellington Phoenix (from): Tony Warner, Mark Paston, Manny Muscat, Ben Sigmund, Andrew Durante (captain), Tony Lochhead, Leo Bertos, Tim Brown, Vince Lia, Nicky Ward, Daniel, Paul Ifill, Chris Greenacre, Alex Smith, Brent Griffiths, Niko Tsattalios, Cameron Lindsay.