Football Article

Nix Will Continue to Rotate Depending on Opposition

Nix Will Continue to Rotate Depending on Opposition Photo: TT
Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire.

Wellington Phoenix head coach Ufuk Talay has said he’ll continue to rotate his forwards depending on the opposition.

Talay was asked the question following the 1-0 win over Melbourne City, in which David Ball scored and Gary Hooper was restored to the starting line-up.

But the gaffer refused to promise anyone a run of games in the first team, saying he would select based on the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition - but he did concede that Ball and Hooper make a good partnership.

Work Well Together

Talay said: “It’s a tough one to answer because I think its a good combination and balance with Ball and Hooper, Ulises Davilla and Reno Piscopo in behind. We’ve got two creative players playing as 10s and players up top that give us the work ethic and creates opportunities and Hoops brings players into the game.”

Davila has scored 10 goals this season, with Ball and Hooper sitting behind him on four. But the former has five assists and the latter three and you can see how vital they are to the way Wellington Phoenix play their football.

Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi was handed his first start of the campaign at right-back against City. The position may be unfamiliar to the central defender, but Hudson-Wihongi did well and is in with a chance of keeping his place for the Western United game.

A Good Performance

“That’s not easy, that’s his first game and he’s not a natural full-back either,” added Talay. “I thought he did a great job, I thought he was a little bit safe but that’s normal for a player who hasn’t played for a long time.”

The Nix like their full-backs to get forward and provide width for the team. Liberato Cacace does it brilliantly down the left but the right-back position has been slightly problematic for Wellington.

But they still managed to keep a clean sheet and Talay suspects this could be because the other A-League sides are starting to show them more respect as they sit back and let Wellington come on to them.

Russell hughes
Sports Pundit staff writer @rusty_hughes
I’m a cricket, rugby union and football writer based in Wellington but with one foot in South Africa and England

What's Your Take?

Reply to Profile image