The Dominion Post

Nix training as if they lost

- Phillip Rollo

Wellington Phoenix defender Steven Taylor says there has been little time to celebrate their impressive away win against Sydney FC.

‘‘Yes, we had a good result but don’t dwell on it. For us you can’t lose your concentrat­ion. The manager has made it very clear in the meeting this morning, we have to look to get some back-toback wins under our belt and obviously build on it,’’ he said.

The Phoenix have not won back-to-back games in the same season since April 2017 but will be looking to change that when they host the winless Central Coast Mariners at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

To ensure his players are in peak condition for the match, coach Mark Rudan has been putting them through double training sessions this week.

‘‘It feels like we’ve just had a loss the way we’ve been training today. The manager has been strict and has worked us hard. He’s got us doing double days and has been putting us through our paces. He knows we’ve got to maintain the levels we’re showing at the moment and the boys are doing it,’’ he said.

‘‘[Beating the Mariners] is easier said than done but we’re going to do what we do, we believe in ourselves and work hard together. You can see the team spirit on and off the pitch, the lads are doing the extras, and that’s showing.’’

Roy Krishna, who scored twice in a scintillat­ing opening 30-minute spell against Sydney, limped out of Saturday’s match with an apparent hamstring injury.

However, Taylor said yesterday he expected both Krishna and goalkeeper Filip Kurto, who sat out the game due to a concussion he suffered against Perth Glory, to be available for selection.

‘‘His [Krishna] mentality, he’ll play with a knock or with any sort of pain because he’s that sort of guy and that sort of character. He’s broken records and he’s got that fire in his belly to become the top scorer in the league.’’

Taylor also scored against Sydney, the former Premier League player opening his A-League account by heading a superb cross from left wing-back Liberato Cacace past goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne in the 38th minute.

‘‘What a ball that was by Libby. It was his delivery putting it on the plate for me to finish. I was hoping for anything on target but happy days it went in the top corner. I’m just happy I got a goal but the main thing was three points.’’

Meanwhile, All Whites forward Myer Bevan is spending the week training with the Phoenix. The 21-year-old is on the lookout for a new club after being released by Major League Soccer side Vancouver Whitecaps earlier this month.

 ?? GETTY IMAGES ?? Wellington Phoenix defender Steven Taylor, left, runs to Nathan Burns to celebrate his goal against Sydney FC on Saturday.
GETTY IMAGES Wellington Phoenix defender Steven Taylor, left, runs to Nathan Burns to celebrate his goal against Sydney FC on Saturday.
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