Milestone for McKain

Wellington Phoenix defensive midfielder Jon McKain may be only 26 but if he takes the field on Sunday at Westpac Stadium against the Perth Glory, he will post his 200th league appearance.

Wellington Phoenix defensive midfielder Jon McKain may be only 26 but if he takes the field on Sunday at Westpac Stadium against the Perth Glory, he will post his 200th league appearance.

McKain started his professional career as a 16-year-old with the Brisbane Strikers in Australia's old National Soccer League. He then played in Romania for FC National Bucharest and Politehnica Timisoara over a five-year period.

The 12-cap veteran for the Socceroos returned downunder for the Phoenix in their 2008-09 campaign.

He was unaware of his pending milestone as the club prepared to bounce back from its 2-3 opening loss to the Newcastle Jets last week.

"I've never really thought about those sorts of milestones, but yeah, to notch up 200 games will be quite special. Hopefully, I've got another 200 to come," he said.

The Phoenix paid the price for a slow start at EnergyAustralia Stadium last weekend and while fighting back to level the score by halftime, they were pipped in the dying moments.

"We're going to be up for this weekend's game against Perth regardless of whether I'm playing 200 or not," he said.

"I was disappointed personally with my performance in Newcastle."

"We've all had to face some harsh truths this week and hopefully in our first game at home, and in front of a good crowd, we can get the three points. Anything else isn't acceptable."

Perth is shaping as a better side than last year but McKain said the main thing in the Hyundai A-League was being consistent and having everyone do their job.

"If we're consistent at the weekend, everyone's taking responsibility and we play the way we know we can, then I think we've got nothing to worry about," he said.

One concern for the Phoenix is the possible absence of New Zealand international and McKain's midfield partner Tim Brown. He has a groin strain and a decision on his availability will be made at the captain's run on Saturday.

Phoenix head coach Ricki Herbert said Brazilian midfielder Diego would probably start, a sign of the prospect of the Phoenix taking an attacking attitude into the game.

Diego was a key signing for the club and he was ready and hungry to perform, Herbert said.

"Westpac Stadium is all about that for us," he said.

"We've got great fans and if we can get them on their feet and swinging their shirts, then they'll become the 12th man for us. So yes, it's about being creative, attacking and entertaining."

The Wellington squad is: 1 - Mark Paston, 2 - Manny Muscat, 3 - Tony Lochhead, 4 - Jon McKain, 5 - Diego, 6 - Tim Brown, 7 - Leo Bertos, 8 - Paul Ifill, 9 - Chris Greenacre, 10 - Michael Ferrante, 11 - Daniel, 13 - Troy Hearfield, 16 - David Mulligan, 17 - Vince Lia, 18 - Ben Sigmund, 20 - Reece Crowther, 21 - Marco Rojas, 22 - Andrew Durante (captain), 23 - Costa Barbarouses. (Four to be omitted)