Phoenix aiming for back-to-back wins against Mariners in Canberra


Wellington Phoenix will be aiming to build on last week’s victory against Newcastle Jets when they face Central Coast Mariners in the Hyundai A-League Remembrance Day round on Saturday night in Canberra.

Phoenix put on a sparkling attacking performance at home a week ago and are now looking to repeat that kind of performance in the Australian capital against a Mariners side that is also coming off an impressive win.

“We need to build on that [win over Jets], or else that result means nothing,” Head Coach Ernie Merrick said.

“The Mariners are in a similar situation and they play open football under Paul [Okon], we play open football so the crowd should see entertaining stuff and hopefully lots of goals, but one more goal from us than them.”

While Wellington will be missing a few players on international duty, the Head Coach sees that as an opportunity for others to make their mark.

“I had some good players sitting on the bench last week, they’re playing this week, so I think we’ve got a well-balanced side that are well prepared. It’s not the first time that we’ve played without the All Whites players, so we’re ready to go,” Merrick said.

That sentiment was backed up by the man who will skipper the side against the Mariners, Vince Lia.

“We’ve got a good squad and there’s now a case for some young boys to stake their claim for that starting XI, so we’re looking forward to it,” Lia said.

Phoenix will be helped by taking the direct route from Wellington to Canberra for the Remembrance Day match and for having a few days to acclimatise in the Australian capital before kick-off on Saturday night.

“We had a direct flight with Singapore Airlines and we’ve been here a few days now, so we’re just looking forward to the game tomorrow [Saturday],” the Captain said.

“Singapore Airlines were fantastic, they helped support us come over here and the flight was terrific – we didn’t have to bypass Sydney or Melbourne. We came in early, we’ve acclimatised and we’re ready to go,” Merrick added.

“The whole concept of this game and Remembrance Day here in the capital with Wellington people coming over here is a great idea.”

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Central Coast Mariners v Wellington Phoenix

GIO Stadium (Canberra)

Kick-Off:  7:35PM (NZ) 5:35PM (Local)

Referee:  Stephen Lucas

TV Broadcast:  Live coverage on Sky Sport 4 from 7:30pm

Radio Broadcast: Radio Sport NZ, online and via the app

Wellington Phoenix squad:  2.Jacob TRATT, 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 5.Ryan LOWRY,6.Dylan FOX, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 11.Hamish WATSON, 13.Marco ROSSI, 14.Alex RUFER, 15.James McGARRY, 17.Vince LIA (c), 18.Ben LITFIN, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 21.Roy KRISHNA, 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 24.Logan ROGERSON, 30.Oliver SAIL (gk)

**one to be omitted**