Big Mac amped to attack

DYLAN MACALLISTER admits there was one match on the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 fixture schedule he underlined in ink – Wellington Phoenix’s clash with the Central Coast Mariners.

DYLAN MACALLISTER admits there was one match on the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 fixture schedule he underlined in ink – Wellington Phoenix-s clash with the Central Coast Mariners.

The Phoenix tackle Macallister-s old club at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Sunday and the big striker is relishing the prospect. He spent two seasons in Gosford before crossing the ditch to Wellington, where he has already shown his worth as the target man leading the Phoenix frontline.

“It-s nice to have them (the Mariners) here at home and hopefully we can get one over on them on Sunday. Playing against your old team is always special but I have to make sure I prepare for it like I would any game.

“In saying that, I guess it-s fair to say it-s not just another game but I need to keep the emotions out of it and really stick to what I do best.

“I kind of know what to expect from them and I-ll have a chat to our boys to let them know about what their players are like and where we might exploit them and get on top. If it comes to the end of the game on Sunday night and we-ve got the three points I-ll be very happy.”

By his own high standards, Macallister had two relatively disappointing seasons with the Mariners, used primarily off the bench by then coach Lawrie McKinna.

“Last year was a tough one for me. I had a shoulder reconstruction in the off-season and didn-t really start well. I was kind of battling all year to find form and keep my spot in the team.

“But I-m really happy to be here with the Phoenix. It-s a step forward for me. They were looking for a player like me and we play a style of football and formation that really suits my game. So I-m looking forward to playing a lot of football this year, doing a job for the Phoenix and scoring goals along the way.”

Macallister didn-t manage to score against Gold Coast United in the Phoenix-s 3-3 draw at a water-logged Westpac Stadium last Friday but he menaced the visitors- back four and set up strike partner Chris Greenacre for one of the Briton-s two goals.

“We get on really well. I know what he-s going to do before he does it and we-ve got a really good understanding. We complement each other – I do a bit of the dirty work up high and he does a lot of the running, so we work well together.

“He took his second goal off my toe, so I-ll remember that one. But if the goals are going in, I-m happy.”

Macallister said the Phoenix would look to take it to the Mariners on Sunday.

“We-ve been concentrating on defence this week but we want to start strong from the front. The defence starts with me and Greenie up front. We-ll have to be better at set-pieces as well, the Mariners are good at that part of the game and we conceded from one last weekend.

“But we have to come out and play attacking football – that-s our strength. We-re at home and there-s no reason why we can-t go out, score three goals again and really get stuck into them.”

Meanwhile, former Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Griffin McMaster has been signed as a short-term injury replacement for the injured Reece Crowther.

McMaster, 27, joins the Phoenix from Victorian Premier League side Oakleigh Cannons. Crowther is expected to be out of action for at least eight weeks after fracturing a rib in a training ground collision with striker Dylan Macallister.

McMaster, who played 20 matches for the Roar, will be back-up to Phoenix number one custodian Mark Paston, starting with this Sunday-s match against the Central Coast Mariners in Wellington.

Sunday, 21 August 2010
Wellington Phoenix v Central Coast Mariners
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Local kick-off:
3.00pm (1.00pm AEST)
Referee: Peter O-Leary

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 3, FS3 HD & Sky Sports 2. Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is The Radio Network (Wellington) 1035AM and 96.3 Coast FM (Gosford). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.co.nz

Wellington Phoenix squad: 1. Mark PASTON (gk), 2. Manny MUSCAT, 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE, 10. Oscar Roberto CORNEJO, 11. DANIEL, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Mirjan PAVLOVIC, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 21. Marco ROJAS, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 23. Dylan MACALLISTER, 30. Griffin McMASTER (gk) *two to be omitted*

In: Griffin McMASTER (short-term injury replacement), Mirjan PAVLOVIC (promoted), Marco ROJAS (promoted)
Out: Jonathan GOULD (injury cover no longer required)
Unavailable: Diego WALSH (knee – 4 weeks), James MUSA (knee – 1 week), Jade NORTH (overseas – 2 weeks), Reece CROWTHER (gk, ribs – 8 weeks)

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1. Jess VANSTRATTAN (gk), 2 Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Brad PORTER, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 9. Nik MRDJA, 10. Patricio PEREZ, 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 17. Chris DOIG, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 23. Adam KWASNIK *two to be omitted*

In: Chris DOIG (promoted), Patricio PEREZ (returns from injury)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Nil

Head-to-Head: All matches (played 9): Wellington Phoenix wins 4, Central Coast Mariners wins 3 (2 draws)