Wellington Phoenix are determined to put on an attacking display when they face Central Coast Mariners at Hamilton’s FMG Stadium on Saturday night.
Ernie Merrick instilled a forward-thinking mindset during his time at the club and now Interim Head Coaches Chris Greenacre and Des Buckingham are determined to continue what their mentor started by going in search of goals against Central Coast.
“We’ve got a philosophy and a way we want to play and that’s an attacking brand of football. We’ve worked very hard on being a danger to a lot of teams - look at the recruitment it’s all been about attacking play and we’ll continue to do that,” Greenacre said.
“We’ve very much got a blueprint that’s been left by Ernie. It’s a case of re-emphasizing, maybe tweaking a couple of things, that will hopefully get us into the right areas that will finish games off,” Buckingham added.
December’s run of games against the Mariners, Western Sydney Wanderers and Newcastle Jets presents an ideal opportunity for the side to climb back up the table.
“It’s important we just concentrate on this next game and if we can put the team in the best position possible over the next week, two weeks, three weeks, we can hopefully get them back on track and put ourselves where we think we should be, which is top four,” Buckingham said.
Captain Andrew Durante was happy with how his team-mates responded at training since the shock stepping down of Merrick and believes the players will be just as hungry on matchday.
“The boys are fired up; we’ve been kicked down a bit with where we are in the season from everywhere. We’ve got to take that and use it as motivation to kick-start our season,” Durante said.
Playing in Hamilton also presents an ideal opportunity for Phoenix to take their attacking brand of football across New Zealand.
“We’re a Wellington based club, but we also represent all of New Zealand, so we want to get out to these places. Seeing the young kids with their Phoenix shirts on, it’s great, so hopefully they enjoy it,” Durante added.
With Wellington determined to play on the front foot, the showdown with the Mariners is bound to provide a great spectacle for the local fans.
“They’re trying to pass the ball really well and not resort to a scrappy-type system. I think both teams will be going hard out to win it, hopefully it should be a spectacle and we see some goals in it,” Greenacre said.
Saturday, 10 December 2016
Wellington Phoenix v Central Coast Mariners
Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand
Referee: Matthew Conger
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Sky Sport 4 from 7:15pm
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #WELvCCM
To purchase tickets click here
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Jacob TRATT, 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 5.Ryan LOWRY, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 11.Hamish WATSON, 12.Adam PARKHOUSE, 13.Marco ROSSI, 14.Alex RUFER, 16.Louis FENTON, 17.Vince LIA, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Matthew RIDENTON