Reds next up for Phoenix

WELLINGTON Phoenix’s pre-season campaign goes trans-Tasman for the first time in 2010 when they take on Adelaide United in Adelaide on Friday night.

WELLINGTON Phoenix-s pre-season campaign goes trans-Tasman for the first time in 2010 when they take on Adelaide United in Adelaide on Friday night.

The Phoenix had a good shakedown in their 2-1 win against Brisbane Roar in Hamilton last weekend and are looking to further finetune preparations for the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season with Friday night-s hit-out against the Reds at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Phoenix head coach Ricki Herbert, who on Tuesday announced he would remain in charge of the Phoenix till the end of the 2012/13 season and continue to guide the New Zealand national team, said he had been impressed by his team-s win against the Roar.

However, the Reds will likely prove a tougher proposition.

“It-s always a tough trip to Adelaide and we-ve tended to struggle there,” said Herbert. “But it is only pre-season, so it-s a good opportunity for some of the boys to stake their claim without too much pressure.”

Phoenix regulars Andrew Durante, Paul Ifill, Chris Greenacre, Ben Sigmund and Mark Paston were impressive in Hamilton against the Roar, while newcomer Dylan Macallister made an immediate impact for his new club with a cracking long-range goal.

Trialling strikers Magno Vieira and Auckland-s Sean Lovemore showed promise off the bench and will get another opportunity to shine against the Reds. Sydney United 21-year-old striker Mirjan Pavlovich will also link up with the squad to trial in Adelaide.

Tim Brown, whose World Cup hopes with the All Whites were dashed by a shoulder injury sustained in a friendly against Australia, will travel and could get some time on the field. However, Brown's All Whites teammates Leo Bertis and Tony Lochhead will remain in Wellington to fully recover from minor niggles.

“We-ll just carry things on and we-ve still got some adding to do to the squad,” said Herbert. “Really it-s just about giving the players some time on the pitch and seeing how that goes. I-m not too concerned about tinkering with things like formations and it-ll be a case of maintaining the status quo because we-ve got what we-ve got (in terms of players) and we probably won-t play the way we are when the season comes.”