Rudan’s steel and belief has Phoenix rising again

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Mark Rudan’s Wellington Phoenix came into yesterday’s clash with Sydney FC as rank outsiders.

Few gave the Kiwi outfit a hope at Jubilee Stadium. But after defeating the Sky Blues in a stunning 3-1 result, the victory could prove to be a landmark one for Rudan’s revolution in the New Zealand capital.

Along with a tried and tested goal scorer in the form of Roy Krishna, Rudan puts his team’s win down to their belief in themselves.

“One of the big things that we’ve been trying to work on is our mentality and our real belief… certainly their coach has got a lot of belief in them… it’s just a mindset, it really is,” he said.

“Last week and today have been turning points for us, they started to believe in themselves, and they started to believe in what we were working on.”

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Phoenix’s positive performance last week resulted in a 1-1 draw against Perth Glory. Rudan was happy that his side were not only able to perform well, but also secure the three points against Sydney.

“It’s good that on the back of last week’s performance that we were able to get a result on today’s performance,” he said.

“The challenge for our players is consistency.”

In securing the win against Sydney, Wellington climb further up the ladder from ninth to seventh, and well and truly within reach of the top six.

Although Rudan believes his team’s hard work is beginning to pay off, he also recognises that it’s still early and a lot of things can happen between now and the end of the season.

“You don’t always see the results early on, but it’s only round seven, there’s 20 games to go,” he said.

The Wellington coach also highly praised his striker Krishna, who became the all-time top goal scorer for Phoenix last week and added two more goals to his name against the Sky Blues.

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Although talks of a contract for Krishna at Wellington next season was still up in the air, Rudan was keen to focus on this season’s goals.

“I want it to be his best ever year in the A-League… he’s been working extremely hard and he certainly deserved his two goals today… he’s one of a few, he’s doing all the right things to earn himself a contract,” he said.

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Lani Johnson
Bachelor of journalism student from the University of Sydney covering Sydney FC. Passionate about writing and football.

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