Wellington Phoenix coach Chris Greenacre is predicting an end-to-end game when his team takes on Melbourne Victory in its final Hyundai A-League game of the season at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.
With the Phoenix needing a win to have a chance of moving out of bottom spot, Greenacre admits it will be a tough ask against the competition-s third placed team but has given his players the green light to go for broke.
“It is important to build on the work we have done in the last few weeks and we need to take the game to Victory,” Greenacre said after a light training session on Friday.
“People talk about the quality Melbourne have in midfield but we also have quality going forward.
“Worrying about Victory goes against everything we-ve done in the last few weeks.
“We want teams to worry about us and the quality we have going forward.
“Of course we aware of the problems Marco (Rojas), Archie (Thompson) and (Connor) Pain can cause teams, and Ange (Postecoglu) will be looking for a reaction to his team-s loss to Perth.
“It will be a tough game but I am looking forward to it.”
It has been a big week for Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante and he is keen to end it on a high note.
Australian Durante made his debut for the All Whites in their 2-0 win over the Solomon Islands on Tuesday after becoming a New Zealand citizen, and didn-t get back to Wellington till the early hours of Friday morning.
“I-m a bit tired because I didn-t get to bed till 3am this morning and my daughter woke me at 6,” Durante said after training on Friday.
“It was a great experience though and I-m looking forward to November.”
Before that there is Melbourne Victory to beat on Sunday and a ladder to climb.
“This is a big one because we are desperate to get off the bottom,” Durante said.
“Greenie and Gouldy have given us the same message as in the last few games to just go out and enjoy it.
“We-ve done well in the last three or four weeks, not just in results but in the way we-ve played. Hopefully we can continue with that.
“It has been a very disappointing season but hopefully we can finish well in front of a good crowd.”
Greenacre hasn-t settled on a starting team yet with some players still being assessed by the medical staff.
Midfielder Vince Lia, fullback Tony Lochhead and goalkeeper Glen Moss are out with injuries to toe, leg and knee respectively, while another midfielder, Isaka Cernak is also doubtful with an ankle problem.
Phoenix Football School of Excellence goalkeeper Scott Basalaj, part of the Junior All Whites squad that this week qualified for the Fifa under-20 World Cup finals, will replace Moss on the bench.