Ifill: Form not a factor

Wellington Phoenix's strong finish to the regular season has seen several Hyundai A-League coaches tipping them as potential winners of this year's title.

Wellington Phoenix's strong finish to the regular season has seen several Hyundai A-League coaches tipping them as potential winners of this year's title.

But while confidence is high at the Phoenix, Paul Ifill says, form - good or bad - is often not a factor when it comes to the sudden-death nature of finals football.

"Once you're in there it's anybody's game. I think once you're in the finals it's a little bit different. I know if we were going away (against Perth) we'd still fancy ourselves,” said Ifill, who finished behind Melbourne's Carlos Hernandez and Gold Coast striker Shane Smeltz in the race for this season's Johnny Warren Medal.

"The form thing goes out the window a little bit as it's a knock-out phase. We still fancy ourselves and will be looking to go out and get through."

He added: "It's going to take a lot for us to take it (the title) out. We've got to win seven on the bounce which I don't think has ever been done. It's a big ask but we're in it to win it so you never know."

Sunday's minor semi-final against Perth will be a historic occasion with both teams in the post-season for the first time and Wellington the first New Zealand team to make it into the play-offs.

Wellington heads into the showdown as favourite - largely due to the superb unbeaten streak it has forged at Westpac Stadium since going down to Queensland Roar in October 2008.

Perth's chances are not helped by the tough journey it faces to get to the New Zealand capital, although there was little sympathy from Ifill.

"It's obviously a trip they don't really want to make and they've been making a lot of noise about that," said the former Crystal Palace man.

"I think we would make the same noise if we were going the other way. That's probably detrimental to them and hopefully it works in our favour."

"That's the joys of finishing fourth. We get the home tie. It's unfortunate for them."

The last time the two sides met was in Perth when the Phoenix lost 2-0 and Eugene Dadi butchered a penalty attempt in his first appearance against his former club.

With the possibility of a penalty-shoot out on Sunday, Ifill - who scored the winner from the spot against Gold Coast two weeks ago - was quick to put his hand up.

"If (coach Ricki Herbert) wants me to take the first (that's fine). He might want me to take the third or fourth because it might be more important."

"I'll definitely be involved somewhere along the line but hopefully it doesn't get to that."

Ifill was less certain whether Dadi would get the nod.

"Eugene will definitely put his hand up but whether the Gaffer (Herbert) ties his hands behind his back is a different matter," he joked.

"He's confident in his own ability to step up. I don't think he'll be trying one like that (penalty against Perth) again."