Ben Sigmund loves football but hates watching it, especially when his Wellington Phoenix team are involved and he is in the living room looking at the television.
That was Sigmund-s fate a week ago as he sat out the 5-0 loss to Newcastle Jets, suspended after being unluckily sent off for two dubious yellow cards the previous week.
He will be back in the thick of the action on Sunday afternoon when the Phoenix take on in-form Adelaide United at Westpac Stadium and is determined he will finish on the winning side.
Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick said after the Newcastle loss that he thought his team-s chances of playing finals football had gone, but that only makes Sigmund all the more determined.
“I love the way Ernie thinks and I think he might have a bit of reverse psychology going on here,” Sigmund said with a grin.
“Who knows, it might just work for us. What I do know is that the players will be giving it everything on Sunday to make up for last week.
“At the end of the day you shouldn-t be playing if you aren-t playing to win, and the day I don-t feel that way I will retire.”
Sigmund, who has been part of a formidable duo with skipper Andrew Durante at the centre of defence this season, says the Phoenix have to raise their game from the first whistle.
“When we had that good run we were beginning well and pressing from the start,” he said.
“We have to set the tone for the game up front and close Adelaide down.
“It is also vital that we get our passing game going. We have to pass and move with everyone wanting the ball at all times.
“If the whole team is working hard and everyone is doing their job we are pretty much unbeatable, but if anyone has an off day the whole team seems to do the same.”
Besides having Sigmund back the Phoenix have influential midfielder Carlos Hernandez returning to the squad following a quad strain.
The game kicks off at 3pm. Tickets from Ticketek.
Phoenix (from): Glen Moss, Manny Muscat, Michael Boxall, Kenny Cunningham, Stein Huysegems, Jeremy Brockie, Tyler Boyd, Jason Hicks, Vince Lia, Ben Sigmund, Lewis Italiano, Carlos Hernandez, Andrew Durante (captain), Michael Ridenton, Roy Krishna, Shaun Timmins.