Wellington Phoenix captain Andrew Durante is demanding a positive approach from his team when they take on Sydney FC in a Hyundai A-League game at Westpac Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Going into the game with seven points from the last nine, Durante is looking for a bright start and, hopefully, an early goal.
“This is a good opportunity to take three points again and keep climbing the ladder,” Durante said after the team-s training run at the match venue.
“We-ve been going along quite nicely in the last three games.
“Obviously we had that run of three straight losses which wasn-t nice, but we went back to basics and got ourselves two wins and a draw from the next three.”
The Phoenix beat Sydney FC 2-0 on the season-s opening day, but Durante said that result was irrelevant.
“Things have changed since then,” he said.
“They-ve got a new coach and the players have a lot to prove to him.
“According to reports Frank Farina has come in and worked them hard this week.
“They will be fired up and are bringing a young squad that will be full of enthusiasm.
“We have to make sure we take the game to them and keep them on the back foot.”
The Phoenix wasted several good goal-scoring chances in the 1-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers last week but Durante wasn-t overly concerned by that.
“We are a team that will create chances and it is up to the guys at the top to put them away,” he said.
“There were a lot of chances and balls into the box last week and I would be more worried if we weren-t doing that.”
Sydney will be without talisman Italian Alessandro Del Piero but in Jason Culina, who is on the comeback trail after a bad knee injury, they have an able deputy.
“Yeh, Culina steps in for his first start and everyone knows what a quality player he is,” Durante said.
“But we just have to concentrate on our own game and keep the positive approach we-ve shown in recent games.”
Good news for Phoenix fans was the fact that Ben Sigmund and Louis Fenton, who have been suffering groin and ankle injuries respectively, came through training today without further problems.
Coach Ricki Herbert postponed naming his squad till tomorrow morning to ensure there was no reaction to the injuries overnight.
Should both be passed fit, as seems likely, Herbert is likely to go with the team that beat West Sydney.
Wellington Phoenix: Mark Paston, Leo Bertos, Andrew Durante (captain), Ben Sigmund, Tony Lochhead, Alex Smith, Manny Muscat, Vince Lia, Paul Ifill, Stein Huysegems, Jeremy Brockie. Substitutes (from); Louis Fenton, Tyler Boyd, Benji Totori, Dani Sanchez, Griffin McMaster.
The game kicks off at 4.30pm.