Play-offs drive Durante

Andrew Durante says the feeling he had not finished the job he set out to do with the Wellington Phoenix was one of the reasons he re-signed with the club for another three seasons.

Andrew Durante says the feeling he had not finished the job he set out to do with the Wellington Phoenix was one of the reasons he re-signed with the club for another three seasons.

The Phoenix skipper put pen to paper on a new deal this week which will keep him in the New Zealand capital until the end of the 2012/13 Hyundai A-League season.

While he and his fiancée felt settled and happy living in Wellington, Durante said the fact the Phoenix had not reached the play-offs during his time at the club so far had been a spur for him to stay and put that right.

"I didn't come here just for two years and to ship off straight away. I wanted to come and be successful and make the play-offs and take the team higher and higher," he said.

"When I was recruited we recruited quite a strong squad and the goal was to make the semi-finals and we haven't done that yet.

"I guess that's a challenge for me personally and for the club to make the semis.

"It was a football decision. I can see myself benefiting more staying here than (playing) elsewhere and I guess it's job not done for me yet."

Durante has also been impressed by the passion shown by Phoenix owner Terry Serepisos.

"If you sit down for 10 minutes with Terry he is one of the most passionate people I've ever met. He will do anything it takes to be successful.

"If it doesn't happen this year he'll make changes and makes sure it happens next year. That's refreshing for players to have an owner you know will do whatever it takes to be successful."

Wellington's first step on that road to success must be to end its record run of six draws when it takes on Gold Coast United at home on Sunday.

While obviously frustrated by the situation, particularly given how well it had played in at least four of the games, Durante said the team had been able to see the lighter side of it as well.

"It is a little bit comical. It's obviously not a record we want but some of the boys have joked 'let's try and go for the world record'. I don't even know what that is.

"You've got to make light of it. If you start worrying to much about the negative spin on it then it can be a bit demoralising."

The skipper said the levels of concern would be greater if they weren't creating the chances.

"If we were playing badly and getting scrappy draws I'd think we'd have to revise our whole situation. But we're playing really good football.

"We went to Gold Coast and dominated Gold Coast we went to Melbourne and pretty much dominated them. It's frustrating that we're not getting the results but the players themselves are not getting frustrated with each other or anything like that. It's purely a results thing. We know we can turn it around."

The Gold Coast held on for a goalless draw when the two teams met at Skilled Park in round nine earlier this month.

It was probably Wellington's best away performance as it kept former Phoenix striker Shane Smeltz and Joel Porter in check and gave itself plenty of opportunities in front of goal which it could not convert.

Smeltz should expect a lively reception when he returns to his old stomping ground on Sunday but Durante said the team would not be over-awed by the table toppers.

"What better way to try and turn our season around than knocking off the league leaders," the skipper said.

"To be honest we are not scared of them. We don't fear them at all. We've got that real good confidence in the squad that we can beat anyone.

"Maybe in previous years if we were playing the league leaders we would have settled for a draw at home but we really need the three points and believe we can get them."