Arguably last weekend could not have gone any better for the Wellington Phoenix.
While the 4-2 win over Adelaide was easily the best performance of the season to date for the Nix, the best part of the night was the close to 14,000 people that filled the stands at Westpac Stadium. It was by far our best regular season crowd in recent times which was just what the Nix needed in their first home game since the news of their licence rejection.
What we need now is for those 13,654 punters to return (and bring a mate) to the Cake Tin for the next home game and matches beyond. It’s been made pretty clear by the FFA that a key component in the Nix staying in the A-League is the size of our crowds and viewer numbers.
The next home game for Wellington will be played in Auckland as one of the two home matches the club has decided to take around the country. The second happening in late January in Christchurch (Yay!). Two seasons ago the Nix managed to attract over 18,000 to Eden Park and there’s no reason not to expect a similar number this time round when they take on Melbourne Victory at QBE Stadium.
No international window, no problem
The lack of a break in the A-League during international windows is frustrating for club like the Nix but it is also unlikely to change anytime soon. Therefore it’s best that we learn to adapt and make do, knowing that every time the All Whites have a match we are going to lose a number of players from our match day team.
Last week provided opportunity for players like Justin Gulley, Troy Danaskos and Matt Ridenton to step up in the absence of Michael McGlinchey, Louis Fenton and others. To their credit the fill ins did a great job with Gulley playing a full 90 minutes in defence, looking good for the most part, and Ridenton picking up his first A-League goal.
Looking ahead to Wanderland
This Saturday the Nix take on Western Sydney at Pirtek Stadium in an attempt to win back to back matches for the second time this season. We have a pretty good record over the Wanderers in recent times having won 3 out of our last 4 matches against them and only losing once in their last six encounters. The Wanderers will enter this Saturday high on confidence having won their last three matches.
Both clubs sit equal on ten points along with two other clubs in a very tight top six. A win for the Nix could jump them as high as third while a loss could result in a slip to seventh.
I’m expecting to see McGlinchey slot back into the starting lineup at the expense of Powell. Other than that it should be the same starting team as last week.
. Gulley Sigmund Durante Muscat
. Bonevacia Riera Rodriguez
. Sarpong McGlinchey KrishnaGoogle+