Phoenix on edge

Wellington Phoenix players will find themselves glued to their televisions sets this weekend as the race for the Hyundai A-League play-offs goes down to the wire.

Wellington Phoenix players will find themselves glued to their televisions sets this weekend as the race for the Hyundai A-League play-offs goes down to the wire.

Sitting in fifth place at the start of the penultimate round of the regular season and not playing Gold Coast until Sunday, the Phoenix will be eager viewers when Melbourne and North Queensland (Friday night) Central Coast and Newcastle and Adelaide and Brisbane (Saturday) square off.

With Newcastle sixth and level on points with Wellington (34), Brisbane one place back on 30 and North Queensland in eighth on 29, the Phoenix will be hoping the Fury, Jets and Roar come away empty-handed which will ensure them a top six spot before they kick-off at Skilled Park.

Whatever the results, it will make for some tense - but compelling - viewing.

"You can't help [watching]. I don't know which way is best. Sometimes it's best to get it out the way and get your three points and sit back and watch the rest of the results," admitted striker Paul Ifill.

"We've got to go last and sometimes that can help and sometimes that can hinder because it could put extra pressure on us if the other teams around us get results."

"If they don't it takes the pressure off and we can go into the game knowing that we're in there and it might make us play a little bit better."

Whatever the situation at kick-off, Ifill is not expecting a repeat of the 6-0 hammering Wellington dished out to the Gold Coast when the teams last met at Westpac Stadium in October.

"We've had a couple of decent results against them in the past but I think it's going to be a different game," he said.

"They are in a different position to what they were last time, as are we. I think they will be pretty confident going into the game with the run they've been on."

But Ifill is adamant the Phoenix should not be written off as a top four spot remains within reach for the New Zealand side which hosts Central Coast Mariners at Westpac Stadium in the final round.

"Win both and I think that will be enough because personally I don't think Newcastle and Perth will win both [of their games]," he said.

"Not many people give us a chance going across to Gold Coast but that suits us."

"No-one fancies us and it's nice being the underdog. If we can go down and nick something [at Gold Coast] I fancy us big time at home."