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Friday, January 11, 2013
Stop-start Phoenix look for consistency

By Cathy Walshe

Captain Andrew Durante says Wellington need to work through the frustrations of the last few weeks as they look to arrest a worrying slide down the A-League ladder against Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday.

Now ninth on the table, with only one win in their last six matches, the Phoenix are working hard at embedding a more attractive brand of football, but consistency is proving elusive.

"We've come through a really tough patch at the moment," Durante said.

"We've gone through them before, but we've always come out. So it's a big game this week - it's a game we really need to get the three points from, and get our confidence going."

Durante says the Phoenix are working hard at their new-look game, and at taking on the challenge of implementing big changes mid-season.

He points to Wellington's slick first-half effort against Melbourne Victory last week as a definite step up.

"I don't think we've ever played that kind of football before, especially away from home," he said.

"We're getting there. It's going to be a slow process, but I think you'll see from the style of play that we're definitely improving.

"Hopefully in a couple of weeks we'll be playing teams off the park and winning games. At the moment, we seem to be playing some good football but not winning games."

The two teams last met in a lacklustre match at Westpac Stadium in round nine, with Jeremy Brockie's wind-assisted goal securing the Phoenix an uninspiring 1-0 win.

Since then, the Wanderers have found consistent form in winning four out of their last six matches, which includes a spirited 2-0 loss to ladder leaders Central Coast last week.

In contrast to fourth-placed Western Sydney, the Phoenix have slipped steadily down the A-League ladder, with just one win since December 2.

The Wanderers will welcome captain Michael Beauchamp and winger Youssouf Hersi back from suspension, but have lost midfielder Jason Trifiro, serving a one-match ban after he was red-carded for a reckless tackle 10 minutes into the second half of the Mariners' game.

Western Sydney also have the services of Adam Dapuzzo and Mateo Poljak, back from injury, but will still be without Dino Kresinger (knee) and Tahj Minniecon (foot).

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