» Preview: Wanderers SC (a)

We head to North Harbour’s QBE Stadium on Sunday to play Wanderers SC in our latest ASB Premiership fixture.

Coming off the back of an important victory over previous league leaders, Team Wellington, this match is vital as we look to maintain our play-off momentum. We’ve won four of our last six matches and sit in a log-jam of six teams fighting for the final two spots in the top four.

Head coach, Pete Smith, is realistic enough to know that much of the external pre-match focus will be on the fact we lost the points following the reverse fixture against Wanderers. “But there’s nothing we can do about that. That whole business had nothing to do with Wanderers so Sunday, for us, is just another game we have to win if we’re to achieve our goal of making the top four,” explained Smith.

“Like us, they’re in the mix, they’ll be after all three points and their recent form has been good. So the game is there for the taking for both sides.”

Smith preferred to move the focus to his own players in the build-up. “I’ve said it a lot the season and I’ll go there again: we’ve got an excellent group of players here, who are working very hard and believe in what we’re trying to achieve,” said Smith. “It’s been a full squad effort. When we’ve had injuries and suspensions the players we’ve called on have stepped up. That means now, when pretty much everyone’s in decent shape and suspension-free I’ve got a difficult job just to cut the squad down to the final sixteen for match day.

“But that’s why I’m paid the big bucks,” he chuckled.

The match kicks off at 3pm on Sunday at QBE Stadium (formerly North Harbour Stadium) on Auckland’s North Shore.

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