BOON Wellington Phoenix striker Paul Ifill predicted in the lead-up to his side’s latest match that an opposition team was due to cop a hiding.
BOON Wellington Phoenix striker Paul Ifill predicted in the lead-up to his side-s latest match that an opposition team was due to cop a hiding.
That star-studded Gold Coast United would be on the receiving end at Westpac Stadium – and that the Phoenix would put six unanswered goals past the team leading the Hyundai A-League up to that point – surprised even the British gun.
“I definitely didn-t think it would come that quickly and not against the league leaders,” said Ifill, who turned in a maestro-s performance setting up three of the Phoenix-s six goals and chiming in with one of his own. “But I felt we-d been playing too well not to turn it around. If you look at the stats from the Gold Coast game they wouldn-t be too different from what we-ve achieved previously, apart from the final ball being a bit better and the finishing definitely better.”
Coming into Sunday-s match the Phoenix had notched six consecutive draws and had been unlucky in most of those stalemates not to have collected three competition points. No one would have predicted they would snap that streak in such spectacular and clinical fashion against Gold Coast United.
“I felt that on the day we were going to be good enough for a 2-0 or 3-0 win,” Ifill said. “At halftime we went into the sheds (up 1-0), spoke about it and said ‘let-s get a second and third and finish these guys off-. We didn-t think for a minute we-d get six. You get to 3-0 against the league leaders and you think, ‘hold on a minute, we-re not bad-. We had the licence to put the pressure on and we set up in a very attacking formation.”
While the Phoenix clicked sensationally at Westpac Stadium, Ifill and his teammates know the onus is on performing at their optimum on a consistent basis – starting with this Sunday-s away match against the team now in charge on the Hyundai A-League table, Sydney FC.
“We-ve become hard to beat. It-s just a matter of consistently going that extra yard to close games out. We-ve been in similar situations in previous matches as we were against Gold Coast, coming into halftime leading and coming back out trying to sit on a lead and hoping we get another goal eventually.
“On Sunday we thought ‘let-s go out there, put it to them and see how they react-. This time we put them away.
“We-ll go into the game against Sydney with confidence, but we know one swallow doesn-t make a summer. It-ll be a very hard game, they-re top of the table, and they gave us our worst beating of the season the last time we played them over there (a 2-0 loss). We-ll be going there aiming to sort them out.”