Sky Blues target wounded Wellington

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka hopes mounting pressure on Wellington Phoenix to improve their results at home could work in his side's favour at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka hopes mounting pressure on Wellington Phoenix to improve their results at home could work in his side's favour at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.

Once the most difficult away assignment in the Hyundai A-League, the trip across the ditch has proved far less daunting in the early weeks of the 2011/12 season.

Ricki Herbert's men have managed just one win from their opening four matches in New Zealand, leaving the Phoenix second from bottom on the ladder.

Lavicka is well aware that poor record won't last for long but after Sydney's troubles in the early stages of the last campaign, the Czech coach also knows the heat is well and truly building on the Wellington squad.

Asked if it gave the Sky Blues confidence knowing the Phoenix had struggled at home this season: Lavicka said: "We know it. They are maybe under a little bit of pressure."

"But also when we watched their games this season they have created good chances at home."

"They also had good team performances in away games."

"They have a good side, probably mentally not good enough, but we expect tough game."

"We know that travelling to wellington is always difficult...we are ready."

Like the Phoenix, Sydney have struggled in front of their home fans so far this campaign, but have yet to lose on their travels with two wins and two draws from four matches.

"You go away trying to pick up as many points as you can on the road, which is an important thing to try and succeed throughout the season," Sydney defender Shannon Cole said of his side's away form.

"Mentally it's an edge that going away is not a disadvantage."

"This is another game where we've got to get three points."

"Wellington hasn't been in their best form that we've seen in the A-League but we can't worry too much about them. We know if we go there and play our best we'll get a result."

Cole will be hoping he did enough to force his way into the starting line-up for the Phoenix clash after impressing off the bench in last weekend's lacklustre 3-2 defeat to the Central Coast.

The 27-year-old has endured a difficult time so far this campaign, starting the season on the bench before missing almost a month with a calf problem.

But after working his way back to full fitness and making a return to the squad, Cole is now desperate to force his way into the first XI.

"It's hard because the team is in a good position at the moment," Cole conceded.

"Missing three or four weeks is not the best for when you're trying to earn yourself a spot in the team."

"It's a team game so until I get my spot back my job is to push the other boys and make them earn their spot and when I do come on make a contribution to the game."

Lavicka has added just one player to the squad that went down to the Mariners with Finnish striker Juho Makela to travel with the side after scoring twice in his return from injury in the National Youth League last weekend.