Jeremy Brockie says Wellington Phoenix want to get their ‘intimidation factor’ back as they target their most successful season ever in the Hyundai A-League.
Westpac Stadium used to be a graveyard for visiting teams who always knew they were in for a tough battle and rarely with all three points.
But that hasn’t been the case the last few seasons as the Phoenix have missed the finals but Brockie wants that sense of trepidation for their rivals to return in 2014/15.
“There was a time when no one used to want to come to Wellington because we had such a strong record there,” Brockie told www.a-league.com.au .
“The last couple of seasons we’ve lost that intimidation factor coming across the ditch.
“We need to make sure when we get our home games early in the season we start well, get results at home and bring that fear back to the clubs that are coming over.
“If we can do that it will take us a long way to being successful and going where we want to as a team.”
Which is back in the Hyundai A-League finals after a few seasons absence and a ninth place finish last campaign.
While results have been mixed so far in the pre-season, Brockie is confident the side is building nicely for the opening round clash with Perth Glory.
New recruits Roly Benavacia, Alex Rodrigues, Nathan Burns and Michael McGlinchey have settled quickly and give boss Ernie Merrick a few more options in attack.
“Definitely,” was Brockie’s response when asked if this was the strongest squad they had assembled in his time at the club.
“If there’s a time we’re going to push into the finals and make some waves when we get into those finals it’s probably this year.
“The depth and the players Ernie has added gives us a real shot. The responsibility to get goals falls on players like myself.
“I had a disappointing season in terms of goals last year but I’ve knocked a few in in pre-season so it’s nice to go into a new season with that confidence.
“I want to be the main striker at our club. I’ve proved before I can score goals. We’ve got to get goals from somewhere and I’ll put that pressure on myself and go out there, enjoy my football and when you do that things often go for you.”
Key to Wellington’s hopes this season will be a strong start to the campaign, after failing to win any of their first 10 matches last season.
“We felt we were playing good football but you have to be winning games,” Brockie conceded.
“You can’t afford to be left behind in this league otherwise you’re trying to play catch up.
“If you look at it, it’s a top six out of 10 teams so you have to be making those finals. That’s a big goal for us this year because we’ve missed out the last couple.”
The Phoenix have spent the last week in NSW playing friendlies against Newcastle Jets and Sydney United and take on Sydney FC in Wollongong on Friday before returning home.
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