Finkler’s focus on Phoenix victory in Melbourne


Wellington Phoenix midfielder Gui Finkler returns to the place where he began his Hyundai A-League journey on Monday night and he’s only got one thing in mind – three points.

The Phoenix midfield maestro spent four years with Melbourne Victory and still keeps in touch with his former team-mates, yet the only thing the Brazilian could think about ahead of the contest was Wellington’s performance.

“I think we’ve been playing well, especially the last game… I think we controlled the game for 45 minutes, which isn’t going to happen too often in the league, but once the first one [goal] comes, I think they’re going to flow,” Finkler said.

“We got to take a lot of positive things from the last game against Sydney. I think we deserved some points from there, but I think we just move on. It’s another game now and we’ve been training pretty hard this week to put in another good performance.”

The 31-year-old has slotted comfortably into the side’s free-flowing attack and is the greatest creator of chances in the competition coming into Round 4.

While the modest Finkler is not entirely satisfied with his on-field performances, he is more than impressed with life in Wellington.

“I’m really enjoying myself here. All the boys have made me feel welcome from day one and I’ve just enjoyed myself here. If anyone [from Victory] asks me about Phoenix, there’s going to be a lot positives to talk about it,” he said.

The Brazilian isn’t the only ex-Melbourne member of the Phoenix side returning to Etihad Stadium.

Kosta Barbarouses is another set to face his old team, as his Head Coach Ernie Merrick, who believes Phoenix are on the verge of turning their strong performances into restuls.

“What we’re doing at training we have to transfer to matchday, but overall we need to build on that performance from last week, I thought it was outstanding,” Merrick said.

“We want to win this weekend and we’re certainly going to play Victory with a winning mentality. We’re not going over there to play counter attack football, we’re going over there to win.”

Monday, 31 October 2016

Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix

Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

Kick-Off: 7:50PM (Local) 9:50PM (NZ)

Referee: Alan Milliner

Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream

Assistant Referee 2: Wilson Brown

Fourth Official: Kurt Ams

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Sky Sport 2 from 9:50PM

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MVCvWEL

Wellington Phoenix Squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Jacob TRATT, 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 5.Ryan LOWRY, 7.Gui FINKLER, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 11.Hamish WATSON, 12.Adam PARKHOUSE, 13.Marco ROSSI, 14.Alex RUFER, 16.Louis FENTON, 17.Vince LIA, 18.Ben LITFIN, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 21 Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Matthew RIDENTON