Loaded WaiBOP United head to Wellington for the second time in January to take on a Team Wellington side desperate for a result after a run of three draws then a narrow defeat at leaders, Auckland City FC. With a top two finish in 2014/15 and recent OFC Champions League experience, Team Wellington remain one of the ASB Premiership’s favourites and so will be targeting this game to get their season back on track.
For head coach, Peter Smith, the game is just the next challenge in a long line of challenges. “I’m probably getting a bit boring, talking about cup finals and taking each game as it comes, but that’s really all we can do,” said Smith during the week. “We’re confident and playing well but we know, as well as anyone, that we haven’t achieved anything yet. All we’ve done is win a few games against the teams that, according to the table, we should have won against.
“We haven’t beaten one of the big boys yet so that has to be our focus now. If we pick up a couple of wins against our play-off rivals then we’ll probably make the post-season. If we don’t, we won’t. So it’s all really quite simple.”
Looking at Sunday’s match in Wellington Smith said there’s a slight feeling of unfinished business within the squad after the result between the two sides earlier in the season. “Yeah, the opening day defeat [2-3 at home] was a tough one because I thought we should have got something from the game, but that’s the way it goes. The result wasn’t terminal and, in a way, I guess we have the chance to put things right on Sunday. More than that, however, we’re looking at what we can gain if we can get a result. That’s what it’s all about at this point of the season,” explained Smith.
“But getting a result down there will be easier said than done. Matt [Calcott]’s got a good side who need to win as much as we do and I’m sure they’re not dwelling on the past. My guess is they plan to beat our brains in, pocket the points and move back up the table. It should be a decent game!”
The match is not live on Sky Sport but you’ll be able to follow along at our dedicated Match Centre, which will be posted on the website over the weekend, and via our Twitter account.