Paul Ifill is in the form of his career and is looking to continue those performances forward to this Sunday’s game against the third placed Brisbane Roar.
There is no doubt that when Ifill is in the form he is at present he is a handful for any defence, and Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert went so far as to tell the after-match press conference that he rates Ifill as the best player in the Hyundai A-League.
“Paul is a real talent,” Herbert said.
“He is special and a great guy with it. He can be a game breaker for us.
“Now that he has come through the injuries he sustained last year and the beginning of this season I think he is the best player in the competition.”
Ifill said those words were “very flattering”.
“It is nice to be appreciated by a manager because I-ve worked with some who haven-t,” Ifill said with a laugh.
“But honestly, that result (vs Adelaide last weekend) was down to team spirit. We have balance in the side and everyone plays for each other.
“We might have a thin squad but there is real competition for places and with the lads we have on the bench those on the field have nowhere to hide.
“What makes the result good is the way it was achieved. We battled every inch of the way.
“In the past we-ve never won ugly. We-ve played better than this at times this season and got nothing from it.”
Not only was it an unprecedented third successive away win, it was also the first time in the club-s history that the Phoenix had come from behind to win on the road.
“I didn-t know that but I did think at halftime that we had never won in that fashion during my time here and I wanted to make sure we carried on with the job,” Ifill said.
“Everyone put in a massive shift and we got the rewards.”
Looking forward to the game this wekeend, Ifill says that the game will be a real test of the Phoenix’s ability to stay in the top two.
“There’s no doubt that on their day the Roar are the best football playing team in the League” Ifill said.
“They’ve had a few injuries to crucial players but they’ve come out the other side of that now and are regaining some of their old form”.
Ifill says there are some real incentives around the game this Sunday.
“We’re second and they’re third. If we win it opens up a bit of a gap. That’s what we’re playing for”.
“Most commentators wrote us off at the start of the season. But we love proving those people wrong. That’s what motivates us”.
“If we can stay in second place then we’re a real shot at a Grand Final. And that’s what we’re about at this club. Making finals and winning trophies.”
“I can’t wait for the game this Sunday”.
Wellington Phoenix v Brisbane Roar
Sunday February 12, 5pm