Paul Ifill (left).
Paul Ifill (left). Teaukura Moetaua / Getty Images

Phoenix face moment of truth

THE next 11 weeks could well define the Wellington Phoenix's season with seven games on the road.

It's not a place on which they've enjoyed much success, with only four wins in Australia from more than 55 attempts.

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They are yet to win on the road this season and their ability to turn that around will decide whether they will not only make the playoffs, but also earn the right to host a knockout game at their beloved Westpac Stadium.

Two seasons ago, the Phoenix hosted a pair of playoff games in front of bumper crowds in Wellington and prevailed twice as they made their way to within one game of the grand final before they were stopped by Sydney FC 4-2 in the preliminary final.

Phoenix forward Paul Ifill wants his teammates to have a more attacking attitude on the road and suggested last week that hoping to pick up a point from a draw was not the right attitude to take.

"Let's have a go at going all-out attack on those away games and winning some points."

Ifill said there was no point going away and looking for a point [for a draw]. "We rarely do that anyway. So let's go and try and get three and, if we come away with nothing, we come away with nothing."

Coach Ricki Herbert did not exactly agree with Ifill's assessment and said the side had the right attitude, but felt it was more a case of being better in the front third of the pitch.

The Phoenix's next encounter is against Gold Coast United on Sunday and the under-performing men from the Glitter Strip will pose a tricky challenge for Wellington.

They stay on in Australia to play the Newcastle Jets the following Friday.



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