Football has never been about personal records for Roy Krishna. It’s why his milestone moment for Wellington Phoenix on the weekend went by almost unnoticed.
Krishna’s late goal in the 2-1 Hyundai A-League opening win over Newcastle Jets was his 33rd for the club, taking him equal with Paul Ifill as the Phoenix’s greatest ever goalscorer.
The 31-year-old has been one of Wellington’s most consistent players over the last few seasons, scoring regularly even when the team has struggled to get results.
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While delighted to have reached a significant Phoenix milestone, Krishna has bigger goals this season.
“I’m stoked to catch [Ifill], he’s a legend at this club,” Krishna told www.a-league.com.au on Tuesday.
“These things come sometimes but the main thing for me is to help this club get to the finals and to win trophies.
“There’s still more work to be done. My main focus is on Brisbane and I can’t wait to get out there with the boys again this weekend."
Ironically, Krishna got his start in the Hyundai A-League back in 2014 on an injury replacement contract for Ifill.
It was the last time Ifill featured for the club, meaning Krishna never got a chance to play alongside the Barbados international.
But Ifill is still playing in New Zealand’s domestic competition and was one of the first players to congratulate the Fijian flyer for reaching his goal tally.
“[Ifill] said ’Congrats, it’s well deserved’. He’s a good bloke and whenever I see him, he always encourages me and gives me positive feedback about my game and the team,” Krishna said.
“He said Roy, ‘you look really happy and sharp and it shows on the field’.
“He’s always a good guy, whenever you meet with him he always shares some positive things.
“It feels great [to equal the record]. I had been knocking on the door for quite a while when Ernie gave me the opportunity to play [with Wellington in 2014] and I it took it with both hands.”
Krishna hopes the team can now make the most of their opportunity to build on their strong start to the campaign.
There was a steely resolve about the Mark Rudan-led Phoenix in their clash with Newcastle, with the off-contract striker revealing team unity was a big focus in the off-season.
“It was a tough pre-season. The boss has really tested us and we focused a lot on the mental side,” Krishna said.
“We knew we could play football but this season we are all a tight bunch of boys, there’s no individuals. We’re all working together and that showed on the weekend.
“Everyone is working for each other, especially in the defensive end. You can see a lot of positives. People are saying some great stuff about us but it’s only the beginning.”
Krishna admits the squad are aware that it’s one thing winning their home games, but it’s another doing it on the road in the Hyundai A-League, especially with the amount of miles Phoenix need to cover.
But the New Zealand outfit won’t use travel as an excuse as they look to make it two-from-two against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.
“One of the things that came up was what Steven Taylor told us about when he was playing in the Premier League,” Krishna said.
“He travelled in a bus sometimes six or seven hours and then get off the bus and played the game.
“The boss made it clear that it’s all mental. In the past we would say it’s tough but we’re getting paid to do this job and we just have to go out there and perform.
“It’s a different atmosphere this season in the club. It will be a tough game but we are looking forward to it.”