» Preview: Wellington Phoenix (a)

We head to Eden Park in Auckland to take on the Wellington Phoenix in this weekend’s round of the ASB Premiership.

Our opponents are in hot goal scoring form and sit comfortably in third spot in what is turning out to be an incredibly competitive league this season. We’ve had a series of well documented challenges already this season, but the playing squad is looking forward to performing on the big stage.

Head coach, Pete Smith, is relishing the opportunity of taking his side to one of the country’s most legendary sporting arenas. “At the start of the season we didn’t really expect to be walking out at a venue like Eden Park, so it’ll be an exciting fixture to be part of,” said Smith before he began his final preparations for the match. “Good settings bring out the best in good players. We’ve got some good players here who have performed well so far, but without a lot of luck. Taking on a club like the Phoenix at a place like Eden Park will bring out the best in the lads.”

Smith also said he’s using all the challenges his side has faced this season to help channel his side’s focus for the rest of the season. “You couldn’t really make it up, what’s gone on, and we’re only four games in!” said Smith. “But that’s football. I’ve told the lads to go out and play with a chip on their shoulder. We have to play with personality and attitude. The only people who can help us now are ourselves.”

The match is being played as the curtain raiser to the Phoenix’s A-League match against the Central Coast Mariners and so has the added bonus of being televised live on Sky Sport 4. It kicks off at 2.15pm.

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