Wellington Phoenix captain Steven Taylor is excited to welcome forward David Ball back to the side as he returns following injury.
Ball picked up a hip flexor strain during the Nix’s 2-1 win over Central Coast Mariners on the 5th of January and missed the Western Sydney Wanderers game as a result.
Wellington may have picked up all three points last weekend, but they still suffered because of Ball’s injury. “(We lost) the quality that he’s got, the energy,” said Taylor. “He can run in behind, come to feet, drop in deep.”
The forward is back in contention for a starting role against Brisbane Roar on Saturday - and Taylor is delighted to have the Englishman available.
“He’s exciting - the fans love watching him play and for us he’s a big player. He offers something different, the quality that he’s got.”
With three goals and four assists from 12 games, Ball has hit the ground running in New Zealand and has quickly integrated with the side. Head coach Ufuk Talay is a big fan of the former Bradford City and Rotherham man, and appreciates the different qualities he brings to the side.
“He makes a massive difference to the team,” praised Talay. “With the energy he brings up front and the runs that he makes and his assists and he scores goals.”
Taylor agrees with his gaffer, and spoke highly the different dimension Ball offers. “He’s both footed, he’s got pace and likes to come deeper as well,” continued the defender. “He’s always asking questions for defenders and hes a nightmare to play against.”
The Roar are third bottom but are unbeaten in their last three games, with two draws and a win - including an impressive 2-2 draw with Melbourne City.
Taylor and Talay are appreciating a difficult clash against Robbie Fowler’s men. “In recent weeks they’ve looked really good,” said Taylor. “They’re playing with a bit of confidence so it’ll be a tough one.”
While Talay concurred: “Brisbane are a good side, they’ve been doing well. It’s going to be a tough game, there are no easy games in the A-League.”