One the eve of their elimination final with Perth Glory, Wellington keeper Mark Paston has indicated his desire to stay at the club, but also insisted in-form Glory striker Shane Smeltz is 'just another player.'
Yet to finalise a new deal with Wellington Phoenix, their current first-choice goalkeeper Mark Paston isn-t taking anything for granted and is taking in each and every game.
Paston, who indicated he would like to stay with the Phoenix next season is hoping to have a new deal done next week, which would see the club spoilt for riches when it comes to their keeping stocks, with Glen Moss already signed.
“At the moment I-m not taking anything for granted and just enjoying each game, you never know how long you have got left in the game so I-m going out there and having fun,” Paston said.
“I have had preliminary talks with Ricki (Herbert), but have had nothing put in front of me so time is ticking on that one.
“I enjoy it there and i am definitely enjoying playing football at the moment, but until I have something put in front of me it-s awfully hard to make up my mind.
“Hopefully things go in the right direction with these talks with Wellington and hopefully that-s a done deal in a week or so.”
While the All Whites- hero has his future in mind, he knows he has to be focussed on the Glory this weekend.
And with his New Zealand teammate Shane Smeltz being the current toast of the A-League talk has frequently turned to their battle, but it-s a battle Paston is unconcerned about.
“It-s no surprise; he has always been a top goal-scorer, I don-t think any of us are too surprised, obviously a lot of the focus has been on him, but they-re a good team and it-s not all about one player,” he said.
“He-s just going to be another player up front looking to score and I-m going to hopefully keep him out.”
As for the trip to nib Stadium, well despite the stigma that surrounds it, Paston believes his team are using it for motivation, because what-s the point of making the longest trip in club football just to lose?
He also is adamant the experienced Phoenix squad may have a mental edge over the Glory, when it comes to big-game experience.
“It-s a long way to go if you get beaten and that-s another motivation. I think the guys are getting more used to it and what-s required to get over the trip and staying in Sydney for a couple of days has helped the boys,” Paston said.
“Winning away just boils down to self belief.
“Winning and losing... you can get into the habit of either one of them. Away from home we have found ways to grind out wins and in the past we may have lost those games, this year we-re coming away with 1-0 wins.
“I think it shows the mental resolve the team have got and the experience we have got, a few of the boys are getting on a bit and that will help us. Most of the team have either played in finals, grand finals or World Cups and won-t be daunted by the occasion.”