Phoenix ready for finals

Successive losses in the final two games of the A-League regular season have not dented the confidence of Wellington Phoenix, says captain Andrew Durante.

Successive losses in the final two games of the A-League regular season have not dented the confidence of Wellington Phoenix, says captain Andrew Durante.

The Phoenix were beaten 2-1 by Central Coast Mariners in Wellington on Sunday, a result which saw the visitors crowned minor premiers and Ricki Herbert's side finish fourth.

That loss followed a comprehensive 3-0 defeat to the Victory in Melbourne last week, not the ideal preparation for a side heading into an elimination final against Sydney at Westpac Stadium on Friday night.

But Durante is not unduly concerned.

"The finals series is a completely different kettle of fish," he said.

"You go in there and, as they say, throw the form guide out the window.

"It's a big one Friday. Hopefully we're going to have a bumper crowd. We'll be up for it."

Despite Sunday's defeat, Durante believed there were plenty of positives to take from the game.

They trailed 2-0 after John Sutton and Bernie Ibini scored either side of half-time before a long range free-kick from Leo Bertos gave them hope of a draw.

But the Phoenix had their chances. They just simply didn't convert them - something which has been an issue for several weeks now.

"Obviously the result wasn't what we wanted but ... the first half we kept the ball quite well. We created a lot of chances and we should have gone up a goal," the skipper said.

"In the second half towards the end I thought we really took it to them. We had them on the back foot and probably could have pinched a goal.

"Although we lost we've got our heads up high and we're looking forward to Friday."

On the plus side Wellington will face a side they have not lost to this season.

The enjoyed a comfortable 2-1 home win in November before routing the Sky Blues 4-2 at Westpac Stadium.

They staged a smash and grab raid at the Sydney Football Stadium last month to sneak a 1-0 win.

"I don't think they will fancy coming over here to play us. We are going to have the upper hand I think," said Durante.

And Wellington can be well satisfied with a season that has seen them finish fourth in the aftermath of Terry Serepisos' departure as owner and without a host of other resources many other clubs take for granted. They also picked up regular wins on the road for the first time.

"For everything that's happened at this club and to the players and the backroom staff, to finish fourth is outstanding," said Durante after completing his 100th game for the Phoenix.

"You look at all the other clubs, they've got grade one facilities. They've got a coach for this, a coach for that. They've got endless supplies.

"We've pretty much done it on bare bones. To achieve what we have is great. But we need to go all the way. We've made the play-offs three years in a row now. It would be extremely disappointing if we went out on Friday night."