Phoenix will find the net

Leo Bertos is confident the Wellington Phoenix can start finding the back of the net after going 264 minutes without a goal.

Leo Bertos is confident the Wellington Phoenix can start finding the back of the net after going 264 minutes without a goal.

The last goal the Phoenix scored was the attacking midfielder's sixth minute effort against North Queensland Fury.

That match ended 1-1 after a last-gasp equaliser from Luke Grossman at Westpac Stadium - a result which has been followed by goalless draws against Central Coast and Gold Coast United despite the Phoenix dominating those encounters.

It has left the Wellington side with a run of five successive draws but having returned from the All Whites' World Cup qualifier against Bahrain in Manama, Bertos believes the Phoenix can change its luck in Townsville this Saturday when it meets the Fury again.

"We've been playing really well so we've just got to keep that going. I'm sure the wins will come. We will practice the finishing and everything we can do on the training. Maybe it's a bit of luck as well but it will happen," he said.

"We're getting chances and that's a good thing. We'd be worried if we weren't creating anything but we just need to finish them off."

Bertos, along with fellow All Whites Tim Brown, Tony Lochhead, Ben Sigmund, and goalkeeper Mark Paston are in line to play on Saturday after coming through the 0-0 draw with Bahrain unscathed.

But coach Ricki Herbert could be forced into a change at the back with Manny Muscat still on international duty with Malta and due to play against Portugal overnight following his side's 2-1 loss to Angola in a friendly at the weekend.

Muscat is not due to arrive in Townsville until Saturday meaning Troy Hearfield could step in at right back.

Chinese striker Jiang Chen is also in contention for his first Hyundai A-League outing for the Phoenix since joining on loan from Chinese Super League club Tianjin Teda at the start of the season.

Chen, nicknamed Johnny by his team-mates, scored a goal in the 2-0 win in a training match against YoungHeart Manawatu at the weekend.

"We'll probably take Johnny and give him his first chance to feature with the team."

"He's ready to come into the mix. He's a new face and he could provide us with that X-factor."

"Johnny's technically very good, I think he'll be able to get in behind the defence and create chances."

Herbert is expecting a very similar game plan to the one the Fury adopted in Wellington.

"They get in your face a lot and it's a lot of long ball. I don't think they will change their style."

"Sometimes it's hard to get out of your back third with bombs coming in like that."

"We've got to deal with that. We know what we're going to be up against."