Western Sydney Wanderers defender Jerome Polenz has called on his side to find a more ruthless streak in attack.
Western Sydney Wanderers defender Jerome Polenz has called on his side to find a more ruthless streak in attack as they aim to turn their impressive performances into consistent results.
With almost one-third of the A-League season gone, the competition new-boys have lived up to their promise of being a competitive outfit but have struggled to string back-to-back results together.
Part of the problem for Tony Popovic's side has been in front of goal, with the Wanderers boasting the worst attack in the league with just five goals from the first eight games.
It's an area the side have been working hard to develop and one they must get right if they are to play finals football in their debut campaign.
"We have to be more effective," the German right-back told Sportal on Wednesday.
"We had a lot of the ball (in the 2-0 loss to 10-man Victory) last week but we still couldn't find the gap.
"We know we must improve in the final third.
"We are still trying to find our way but I think we are improving. You can see the improvement in our team and we're working very hard at it."
And they will need to be at their clinical best on Sunday as they travel to New Zealand to take on a resurgent Wellington.
After a poor start to the season, the Phoenix have found some form over the last fortnight, picking up four points on the road against Newcastle and Perth.
"They're always a dangerous side," Popovic said.
"They've done a fantastic job … three consecutive years in the playoffs shows what a tight unit they have and what a very good manager they have.
"I'm sure they'll go into their home match confident but we've shown we can match anyone on our day.
"It's a tough game and a tough trip. But the players are fit, they've prepared well and we've got no injury concerns.
"We go into the game confident and ready to put on a performance we feel gives us an opportunity to get a result."
Meanwhile, Popovic hasn't ruled out leaving marquee man Shinji Ono out of his starting side for the tough encounter in Wellington.
The Japanese star was left on the bench for the club's last long away trip in Perth a fortnight ago and the Wanderers boss may be reluctant to put the 33-year-old's body through 90 minutes after such a long flight.
"We'll have a look at it," Popovic said when asked if Ono was likely to start on the bench against the Phoenix.
"Everyone's fit now … we'll have a look at all our options and see how everyone is physically.
"But whichever team we put out there we believe and we're confident enough it will put out a good performance."
Whether Popovic gambles on leaving out his most creative player could hinge on the availability of youngster Aaron Mooy.
The in-form midfielder is currently in camp with the Socceroos and will miss the Phoenix clash if he makes the final 20-man squad for next month's East Asian Cup qualifiers.
Matteo Poljak and Jason Trifiro could also come back into the starting side if Mooy is unavailable.