No Draw Mentality For Phoenix

The Wellington Phoenix might only need one point from their final game of the regular season to seal a playoff spot, but nothing less than a win will satisfy captain Andrew Durante and coach Ricki Herbert.

Durante sat out the 2-0 loss to Sydney as the first part of a two-game suspension, and won-t be on the field against North Queensland Fury on Sunday, but is confident that his team-mates will finish the regular season with a flourish for the Westpac faithful.

“All we need is a point, but if that is all we get it would be a big disappointment.

“We need three points and a good performance to build confidence going into the playoffs as well as provide a spectacle for those fans who have been fantastic again this season.

“It wasn-t easy sitting in the stand watching the guys battle in Sydney and not being able to do anything about it.”

Most of the Phoenix-s problems came with Sydney going through the centre of defence where Durante would normally have been.

His place was taken by teenage defender James Musa and he struggled against a strong Sydney strike force.

“It was a difficult night for Musa,” Durante said. “He is a promising young kid but to be thrown in the deep end against experienced strikers like Carle and Cazarine was tough.

“With myself, Siggy [Ben Sigmund], Vinnie Lia and Manny [Muscat] missing it was always going to be tough backing up after Saturday-s game in Adelaide.

“Siggy and Manny will be back and while Sydney was on a six-game unbeaten run Fury have struggled all season and we are at home.”

Herbert is in the same frame of mind as his captain, saying there will definitely be no sitting back looking for a point.

“If you get into that mode it is hard to get out of it and funny things happen in football,” he said.

“I want us to play attacking football which we always do at Westpac Stadium.”

With the addition of Muscat and Sigmund Herbert is likely to put his faith in the group of players who have revived the Phoenix-s playoff hopes in recent weeks, but won-t name a squad till after Saturday-s training session.