Durante pumped up

After missing out on game-time in Australia's 1-0 Asian Cup qualifying win over Indonesia, Wellington Phoenix captain Andrew Durante says Sunday's historic Hyundai A-League clash with Newcastle Jets can't come soon enough.

After missing out on game-time in Australia's 1-0 Asian Cup qualifying win over Indonesia, Wellington Phoenix captain Andrew Durante says Sunday's historic Hyundai A-League clash with Newcastle Jets can't come soon enough.

Durante was told he would be on the Qantas Socceroos bench just hours before Wednesday night's match in Brisbane and thought an international debut was beckoning.

"I was told to warm-up at half-time because I thought I was going on but I ended up warming up the whole second half and didn't get on which was a little bit upsetting," the central defender said.

"It wasn't to be and now I'm just concentrating on the Phoenix and Sunday."

The match at Westpac Stadium is a sell-out and sales of yellow t-shirts in the New Zealand capital have gone through the roof as fans respond to calls to show their support by getting decked out in yellow and black.

Durante admits to being a little disappointed that he has missed out on much of the build-up to the biggest game in the club's history.

"But I'm sure it's going to pick up even more in the next few days and we'll see some more yellow jerseys around town," he added.

"I just can't wait. It does feel almost like a final. To get 35,000 all in yellow and cheering us on - I'm definitely going to be getting goose bumps when I walk out (on the pitch) and the roar goes up."

"To be honest I can't wait for it. I just want Sunday to come around as soon as possible."

Durante concedes preparations for the do-or-die clash have not been ideal with himself and New Zealand's Leo Bertos, Tim Brown, Ben Sigmund, Tony Lochhead and All Whites coach Ricki Herbert away on international duty.

The All Whites contingent, who came through their 2-0 World Cup warm-up loss to Mexico unscathed, are not due to return from Los Angeles until Saturday morning.

But Durante believes the work that has been put in throughout the season and the success and momentum the side has built during the past few weeks will stand them in good stead, not to mention an 18-game unbeaten run at the stadium.

"We've been together the whole season and it's not as if Ricki is going to come in and change tactics or the whole formation," he said.

"Once the boys get in tomorrow we'll probably have an easy session, do some formation work and just get back to basics. It's not ideal but it's not the end of the world either."

"The boys are in very good spirits. We had a good session today and it was quite intense. A couple of days out from the game and the boys are really raring to go."

"We're going to be confident going in there. We've played really well at home and there's no reason why we can't get the right result. As long as we're doing the little things right there's no reason we can't get the right result."

Herbert has made minimal changes to his starting XI throughout the season but he will be forced into one key change on Sunday with Jon McKain suspended for the match following his red card in the dramatic win against Perth two weeks ago.

Sigmund, who played the full 90 minutes against Mexico on Thursday evening (NZ time), will slot in alongside Durante in the heart of the Phoenix defence. But the skipper said any adjustments that needed to be made would only be minor ones.

"Siggy's more than capable of doing the job. He's proved it for the last two seasons that he can play that position and play it well. Jon's been really good for us but we lose nothing with Siggy coming in," he said.

Also ruled out is attacking midfielder Adrian Caceres, who remains in Argentina with his wife who is due to give birth to the couple's first child.

That should see Bertos start down the left flank but it remains to be seen how much the Mexico match and the travel will affect the All Whites players as the match progresses - particularly with Jets coach Branko Culina promising a more up-tempo, attacking game-plan than the one his side produced against Gold Coast which saw it go through on penalties.

Durante though is unconcerned. "We just need to concentrate on us. They are going to be more worried about (Paul) Ifill, (Chris) Greenacre and Leo Bertos than we are about them."

"We've got a back four that can contain (the attacking threats of Labinot Haliti, Sean Rooney and Matt Thompson)."

"I think if we do that it sets up the rest of the game for the boys in front of us. With Manny (Muscat), Vinnie (Lia) and Brownie in the middle controlling the midfield, which I'm sure they can, it sets up those big-game players like Ifill and Greenie to do their thing and win the game for us."