Taylor says Phoenix starlet Devlin is like N'Golo Kanté 

Wellington Phoenix defender Steven Taylor says the addition of Cameron Devlin to Wellington’s midfield has made a fantastic impact on the squad’s fortunes.

Devlin made his first start of the campaign in Round 10 deputising for the injured Alex Rufer and hasn’t looked back, starting every game for Ufuk Talay’s side since.

His presence in the middle of the park has been so noticeable that Taylor has likened the dynamic midfielder to French Chelsea star and World Cup Winner N'Golo Kanté, one of the world’s best midfielders.

"I can't stress enough about Cam Devlin, when a guy like that comes in he's took his chance and he's been one of our best players, and an outstanding performer," Taylor told the media on Thursday morning.

"He puts his foot in, he doesn't care who he's playing against.

"He's got no fear and that's a good thing about a young guy who's just hungry. He always wants the ball. Always demanding the ball and wants to be start of the play for us.

"He's everywhere. He's like a little Kanté in there."

PREVIEW: Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets
ROUND 16: 
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PREVIEW: Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC
SIGNING NEWS: Dobras departure paves way for Rojas' Victory return

Devlin has yet to experience a loss playing for Wellington in the Hyundai A-League before last weekend when the Phoenix fell to Brisbane Roar, ending a nine-game unbeaten streak.

Wellington boss Talay says the result was a disappointing one, and the challenges don’t get any easier as they prepare to host Newcastle Jets at Sky Stadium on Friday afternoon (5:15pm AEDT).

“For me, it was a missed opportunity,” Talay said in regards to his side’s 1-0 loss to Brisbane.

“I think we should have walked away with three points, especially in the first half with the opportunities we created.

“The boys are disappointed but it’s a short turnaround, another game tomorrow so just prepare for Newcastle.

“Newcastle are not an easy team as well, they played in the Grand Final a couple of years ago and they’ve got some very experienced players.

“A team doesn’t become a bad team overnight so it’s a game we need to be very well prepared for and go out there and do the job.”

Steven Taylor

Big Blue not getting smaller says Corica

Sydney FC boss Steve Corica says this weekend’s Big Blue will be as feisty as ever despite his side’s total dominance of the fixture throughout recent encounters.

The Sky Blues have won 10 of their last 13 Hyundai A-League encounters with Melbourne Victory, including the last three on the bounce.

You could excuse Sydney for approaching the contest with a little less vigour after establishing a clear ascendancy over their long-standing rivals, but former Sky Blues captain and current coach Corica says his side need little encouragement to fire up for their Friday night clash with the Victory at AAMI Park (7:30pm AEDT).

“It’s always big, don’t worry,” Corica told reporters on Thursday morning.

“It’s always a big match, they have great supporters down there, a lot of supporters, and we have the same here.

“We’ll have a great crowd coming down as well to support us.

“The boys really look forward to this game, it’s a great game to be involved in for coaches and players."

Corica says the addition of Western Sydney Wanderers to the Hyundai A-League means they now share a fierce rivalry with more than just one side, but that hasn’t affected the emotions attached to the Big Blue one bit.

“I think it’s just a game we love playing,” he said.

“It’s a massive game, before the Wanderers this was our derby really ever since the first season.

“It’s a great game to be involved in, it’s great to play down there as well in (front) of a hostile crowd.

“We’re looking forward to it, we’ve had our week off and we’re raring to go.”

Sydney FC; Melbourne Victory
Sydney are gunning for four wins in a row over Victory

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Friday, 24 January 2020
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT
Venue: AAMI Park
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports


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Reds need to show grit to get results - Halloran

Adelaide United forward Ben Halloran says there was a noticeable change in his side's determination and fight as they broke a four-game losing streak with a win over Melbourne Victory last weekend.

Halloran scored the only goal in Adelaide's 1-0 win last Friday night in a contest Halloran says was decided by his side's dogged attitude throughout the contest.

"To get the win against Victory was really important for us," Halloran told reporters on Thursday.

"I think we showed a lot more grit and desperation, that was probably lacking in the previous weeks.

"We weren’t playing bad football but we weren’t showing that desperation we needed to.

"I think there’s a real sense of relief amongst the boys.

"We know the job is not done, you don’t win one game and then suddenly turn it around."

PREVIEW: Western United v Adelaide United

GOAL: Halloran's scrappy winner against Victory

With that sentiment in mind the Reds travel to face Western United at Whitten Oval on Sunday afternoon (6:00pm AEDT), with their eyes firmly set on another win to leapfrog Western into fifth on the table.

Halloran says they'll need to bring that same fighting spirit if they want to get a result in their first ever game against the league's new boys.

"They’ve kind of flown under the radar a bit, they’ve done really well for a new franchise," Halloran said.

"They’ve been in the top six pretty much the whole way through.

"I watched them play last week against Central Coast and they were very impressive.

"It’s just about doing what we did against Victory, tactically we are sound enough and if we can show that grit again then I think we can do them."

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Sunday, 26 January 2020
Kick-off: 6pm AEDT
Venue: Whitten Oval
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports