Caceres out to impress
The absence of injured Wellington Phoenix playmaker Daniel has provided an opportunity for Adrian Caceres and he is determined to make the most of it in Thursday night's clash with the Central Coast Mariners.
The absence of injured Wellington Phoenix playmaker Daniel has provided an opportunity for Adrian Caceres and he's determined to make the most of it in Thursday night's clash with the Central Coast Mariners.
A groin strain has ruled the energetic Brazilian Daniel out of the Phoenix's trip to Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford and Caceres is the likely man to replace him in midfield.
The 27-year-old has offered a spark off the bench for Wellington in previous weeks, most notably in making his presence felt straight away with a goal to rescue a 1-1 draw in Adelaide last time out.
With Daniel resting up back at home, Caceres believes he is ready for the call-up to the starting XI should coach Ricki Herbert decide to do so.
"Definitely, I'm really excited," he said. "It was hard for me when I first joined the Phoenix because I came to Wellington with a bit of an injury."
"But my aim was always to prove what I could do off the bench and to offer something to the team if I was called on to make an impact."
"If Ricki calls on me to start I'll give it everything but it's possible that 90 minutes might be beyond me at this stage."
"What I will do is give my all and run my backside off for as long as Ricki needs me to."
If granted a run-on spot, his main challenge will be to provide the spark from the start as opposed to coming on later in the game when the opposition legs are tired.
With the seventh-placed Mariners only two points ahead of the Phoenix, in ninth, there is plenty of motivation to bring home three points and also add weight to the chasing of the club's first play-off berth.
"We've got nothing but the win on our minds," said Caceres. "I don't think we deserve to be where we are on the table given that we've outplayed almost every team in the competition."
"But we have failed to put teams away when they've been on the ropes and we need to make sure that we're turning dominance into wins."
"If we win and I play a part, then great. But it's about the team and getting three points - that's what'll make me happy."
He is also happy to have found his feet in Wellington following a nomadic career, most recently with the Mariners and also a number of outfits throughout Australia and England.
"I have been at quite a few clubs but Wellington has been great. It's well managed and we've got a great squad of players."
"I'd like to think I could stay at the Phoenix beyond this season but here and now all I'm doing is concentrating on helping get us into the playoffs."