Wellington Phoenix coach Darije Kalezic has emphasized the importance of striker Roy Krishna to his side ahead of this weekend’s must-win clash with Central Coast Mariners.
Krishna returned from injury last weekend and came off the bench to set up a last-minute winner against Perth Glory at Westpac Stadium on Saturday night.
The Fijian missed Wellington’s proceeding three matches with a hamstring complaint and Phoenix lost all of them, conceding nine goals and scoring just one.
With Krishna back, Kalezic believes his side have the ammunition to cause the Mariners plenty of problems in Gosford.
“Yes this is a chance for us. In the last few games we got three wins and one draw,” Kalezic said on Thursday.
“And what’s also important for us is that now Roy Krishna is back in the squad, which makes us, from an attacking point of view, good enough to compete with every club in the league.
Prior to his injury, Krishna helped Wellington to a mini-revival which saw the Kiwi club record two victories and a draw in a three-game spell.
Krishna scored in wins over Victory and Newcastle, and Kalezic highlighted how much the side missed him in the home loss to Adelaide United in Round 18, the start of a three-game losing streak.
“After a good period we had three games that we lost but in the game against Adelaide I perceived many many positives in the squad,” Kalezic said.
“That Roy Krishna didn’t play that time made a really big influence on the team, and since Roy has come back we’ve kept going with the good performances, and we showed that against Perth.”