'We'll punish them': Taylor backs Phoenix to attack City

Wellington Phoenix defender Steven Taylor believes the club has turned a corner and will be looking to take the game to opposition teams, starting with Melbourne City on Friday night.

Speaking ahead of the match-up at AAMI Park, Taylor said the Phoenix had been guilty of giving teams too much respect in the past and not going into matches with enough attacking intent.

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 “Over the years Wellington has given teams too much respect,” Taylor said.

“We go there positive and believing we can win every game and that will never change.”

Wellington Phoenix celebrate a goal.

Despite getting off to a good start in the 2018/19 Hyundai A-League Season, the Phoenix slumped to a surprise Round 3 loss against Western Sydney Wanderers, going down 3-0 at Westpac Stadium.

Taylor insisted that the character of the playing group would ensure there will not be a repeat performance against City.

“It’s been a great start for Wellington, last time they had a start like this was years ago,” he said.

“You could tell in training this morning that everyone’s looking forward to the Melbourne game, it’s a massive game for us."

Steven Taylor

The Englishman instead thrust the spotlight on the home side, also coming off a dispiriting loss to Sydney FC by the same 3-0 scoreline, indicating that Wellington will go after the wounded hosts.

“They’ll be under a lot of pressure and they’ll have to try and take the game to us,” he said.

“What we’ve got going forward will hurt them and if they give us any chances I’m sure we’ll punish them.

“With this group of players that we’ve got here, we’ve got big characters and players who relish this kind of opportunity.”

Meanwhile, Melbourne City manager Warren Joyce said he was happy with the way his team had bounced back during the week.


“You just look at the players, everyone’s got a clean slate," Joyce said.

"The training on the Sunday morning was excellent and again on the Monday morning.

"Every player has reacted the way you want them to react, putting their name forward to try and play this week."