Playing For Pride And Points


After a turbulent week that saw coach Ricki Herbert resign and qualifying for the A-League playoffs become impossible, Wellington Phoenix goalkeeper Glen Moss says there is still plenty to play for, starting on Sunday against Melbourne Heart in Dunedin.

Moss, who has only recently been promoted to the starting line-up after a long injury layoff, said it is now all about playing for pride as well as points to get the team off the bottom of the ladder.

“We have to go out and do the jersey proud and do ourselves proud which is something we haven-t been doing much lately,” Moss said.

“We-ve done it in bits and pieces but have been a bit disappointing in the first halves of the last few games.

“It seems to take us till the second half, when we are behind on the scoreboard, to get going.

“That is a pity because we have always had a pretty good record when we score first.

“It is probably a confidence thing. If we score first our heads are up and we are hard to beat.

“That makes a good start against a strong Heart team important. As Greenie (coach Chris Greenacre) says, if we all do our jobs to the best of our ability we will be alright.”

Despite the run of poor results Moss, who rejoined the Phoenix from Gold Coast this season, is just pleased to be back playing.

“It was almost 12 months since my last A League game with Gold Coast when I got back on the field,” he said.

“I spent most of that time battling with my body but, if anything, it was a blessing in disguise because it has renewed my love for the game.

“I might have taken it for granted a bit in the past, but having to sit on the sidelines for so long makes you desperate to get back out there.

“The buzz of playing, and the challenge it presents, was something I missed badly.

“I love a challenge, be it football or in life and don-t mind going outside my confidence zone and seeing how I go in different circumstances.

“I-m trying to get the best out of the guys in front of me. If I can help their confidence it makes my job easier.”

While Greenacre hasn-t confirmed his starting line-up Louis Fenton is likely to drop down to the bench.

The youngster has been heavily involved this season after being promoted from the Football School of Excellence and it has begun to take its toll on him physically, especially backing up on Wednesday after playing at the weekend.

It will mean a reshuffle in the midfield, while Belgian international Stein Huysegems will probably be promoted from the bench to partner Jeremy Brockie up front.

A likely Phoenix team: Glen Moss, Manny Muscat, Ben Sigmund, Andrew Durante (captain), Tony Lochhead, Leo Bertos, Vince Lia, Corey Gameiro, Paul Ifill, Stein Huysegems, Jeremy Brockie. Substitutes: Mark Paston, Tyler Boyd, Louis Fenton, Dani Sanchez.