By Cameron Russell / asbpremiership.co.nz
WELLINGTON – Team Wellington must do it all again as the capital men strive to hold onto their slender playoff hopes when they face Waikato FC on Saturday.
A 2-0 away win over Canterbury cut the deficit between Wellington and the pace setters from nine points to just six, but with a host of tough matches looming with Auckland City and Waitakere United, the capital men have to keep their feet firmly on the ground.
And coach Matt Calcott has told his players to ignore last weekend’s results as his side prepare for a much needed home win.
“I said to the guys at training last night not to focus on Waikato’s previous result,” says Calcott.
“Over the years we’ve seen teams get spanked one week and then bounced back the next, very rarely would you see 9-1 games two weeks in a row, and for us the focus is on the three points.”
The 9-1 result was Waikato’s worst in league history, eclipsing their previous 7-1 loss to Waitakere in the 2005/06 season.
Waikato has now conceded 17 goals in their three games since the turn of the calendar year, a figure that will concern Coach Mark Cossey.
The honeymoon period has certainly passed for Waikato, who won their first two games back in December under Cossey after Declan Edge was relieved of his coaching duties.
Wellington picked up a crucial three points last weekend beating Canterbury United 2-0 in Christchurch.
New signing Luis Corrales, who previous played for Wellington before moving to Auckland in 2010, scored his sides second goal after a great individual run.
Prior to the transfer window Calcott said his team lacked an edge in front of goal, but now feels his team ‘absolutely’ has a more complete look to it with the addition of the Costa Rican striker.
“He did very well on his debut, scoring a crucial goal, and at a crucial time,”
“He’s given us a point of difference, and there is a few other guys who will come in and make a difference as well which will really strengthen the squad for the run in.”
Wellington also signed Adam Thomas from Waikato, but the New Zealand U-23 international will sit out this game due to an agreement in the transfer between the two sides.
Calcott chuckled at the thought that this game was the definition of ‘must-win’ saying he thought all of his sides remaining games were ‘must wins’.
“We must win them all from now on to be honest with you, it’s just week-to-week at the moment,”
“We’ve got to have that cut mentality where if we don’t pick up three points we could potentially be gone from contention,”
“Every week from here on in is like that and we need to ensure, especially at home, that we pick up three points.”
Wellington sit six points behind fourth placed Canterbury United, and will have to rely on other sides to drop points to have a chance of making the playoffs.
Mathematically speaking Waikato still has a chance of making the playoffs, but the nine point gap would take a miracle to close up with just five league games remaining.
History will be with the home side, as they haven’t lost to Waikato since 2008 when a Marco Rojas goal capped off a 2-0 defeat.
Action gets underway from Dave Farrington Park at 2pm on Saturday.
Luke ROWE returns to the squad.
New signing Adam THOMAS stands down from selection as part of his transfer agreement with Team Wellington and Waikato FC.
Robbie GREENHALGH and Sam MARGETTS are both unavailable adding to coach Mark COSSEY’s woes.
Team Wellington’s 2-0 win over Canterbury United was their first victory since November 25, 2012. Their previous win was over 3-1 over YoungHeart Manawatu. Luis CORRALES has made 35 ASB Premiership appearances for Team Wellington and has scored 23 goals.
Raymond HOW is one caution away from suspension.
Luis CORRALES is set for another home ‘debut’ for the ASB Premiership club he began his career with.
Waikato FC have not beaten Team Wellington since 2008/09 season when they triumphed 2-0 thanks to goals by Shaun van ROOYEN and Marco ROJAS. Last week’s 9-1 loss was Waikato FC’s worst result eclipsing their 7-1 beating also at the hands of Waitakere in 2005/06 season.
ASB Premiership - Round 10,
Saturday 26 January, 2013
1- Scott BASALAJ (GK)
1- Matt UPTON (GK)
2- Tim SCHAEFFERS
3- Jordan SHAW
4- Darren CHERITON
5- Eder FRANCHINI
7- Wiremu PATRICK
6- Sam JASPER
8- Adam McGEORGE
7- Gurjeep SINGH
9- Cory CHETTLEBURGH
9- Rory TURNER
10- Henry FA'ARODO
10- Mark JONES
13- Karl WHALEN
11- Jack HOBSON-McVEIGH
15- Luis CORRALES
12- Jason MANN (GK)
18- Tom DOYLE
13- Jesse SMITH
20- Luke ROWE
16- Elliot COLLIER
21- Justin GULLEY
17- Byron PAULUS
22- Hamish WATSON
18- Alexi Caroama VARELA
23- Tom BISS
19- Dave PARKINSON
24- Alec SOLOMONS
21- Raymond HOW
25- Daniel CLARKE (GK)
23- Hone FOWLER