Official Preview:Wellington Phoenix v Central Coast Mariners
Bouncing back! Fever Zone, get behind your record-breaking boys
Saturday 13th November 7:30pm Westpac Stadium
Bouncing back! Fever Zone, get behind your record-breaking boys as they look to make winning at Westpac a habit once more.
There was an unusual feeling lingering in the air at Westpac Stadium as fans filtered from the ground into the dark night last Wednesday. It was something that had not been felt for a long time.
It was of course, the disappointment of defeat, a sensation that had been entirely alien to the Fever Zone in the 24 previous games. Of course, all good things must come to an end, and the defeat to Brisbane means that Phoenix can lock away that particular achievement - it certainly won-t be overtaken anytime soon - and focus on new challenges. There are always further horizons to aim for, larger mountains to move.
In truth, Brisbane were good value for their 4-1 win at Westpac and Ricki Herbert-s side can have no complaints about the home defeat. However, Phoenix fans got exactly the kind of reaction that they wanted from their side-s gruelling trip all the way to Perth on Sunday.
A first-minute strike from Tim Brown and a much more solid defensive display was enough to secure the New Zealand team-s first triumph on Australian soil since they won by the same scoreline against Gold Coast back in February. It-s not something you often say about Wellington Phoenix, but they-ll be looking to translate all of the positive aspects from that away display into their return to Westpac on Saturday.
Defender Andrew Durante will certainly be looking for a similarly strong defensive performance, as he is set to celebrate his 100th Hyundai A-League appearance.
Just as Brisbane came, saw and conquered at Westpac, another form team, Central Coast Mariners, will be looking to pick up the victory and make it a hat-trick of wins and clean sheets from their last three games.
Last week-s win in Townsville was the side-s first away win since the opening night of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season and followed on from their 5-0 hammering of Perth Glory. Patrick Zwaanswijk-s 36th minute goal from a corner was enough for Mariners in a very different game to the one at Sydney Football Stadium.
Against Glory, Mariners played free-flowing, thrilling football, whereas last week they needed to dig in and work hard for the points. Back-to-back, these two performances showed contrasting - but equally crucial - sides to the team-s mentality. The ability to both play a side off the park at home and to sneak away wins by the odd goal will serve them well as the season reaches its climax.
Fever Zone, your castle may have been captured by Brisbane Roar but it-s up to you to prove that the home defeat was a one-off. Get behind your side as they look to start up a brand new run of undefeated home games.
By making the kind of noise that, time and time again, you have proved you are capable of, you can steer your side to three points against one of the toughest opponents they-ll face all season. This is going to be 90 hard minutes for your players, so get along to Westpac and make a difference from the stands. Your support, as always, is absolutely crucial!