Mark Rudan explains why Wellington’s five-goal loss to Glory is “irrelevant”

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Wellington Phoenix boss Mark Rudan labelled his side’s crushing 5-0 loss to Perth Glory as “irrelevant” as he looked ahead to the start of the A-League finals campaign.

With Wellington in fifth position on Sunday, Rudan rested a number of players for his side’s encounter with Perth Glory at HBF Park.

The eventual 5-0 Glory win moved Wellington back into sixth on the ladder, setting up a clash with Melbourne Victory next Friday night in the first round of the finals.

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“It would have been ridiculous of me to start my best 11 tonight, ridiculous, knowing that we had to fly eight hours (here) and then again (back),” Rudan said.

“I told the boys straight away we are preparing for Victory, and it’s all about finals football, it’s all about the bigger picture.

“As far as I’m concerned we did what we needed to do: got the minutes into the players that needed the minutes.

“Result? Irrelevant.

“You come to the premiers at home, an eight hour flight, never easy.

“We knew that, we expected that, but no problems for me, all about finals football.”

With momentum key in an A-League finals campaign Rudan is adamant there will be no negative impact on the psyche or morale of his side after such an emphatic defeat at the hands of a championship rival.

“I don’t care what anybody else says because I know my team, I know my players, and that’s the most important thing,” he said.

“You guys from the outside might look at a result and think ‘oh this ain’t good’, not for me and not for us.

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“You guys I know will talk the score up, but for me and for us it’s irrelevant.

“The more you want to do that, the better it is for us.

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Rudan’s defiant attitude flowed further into his assessment of Wellington’s finals chances, claiming their role as the outsider suits them down to a T.

“We’ve been outsiders from day one, a lot of you guys sitting here had us as wooden spooners at the start of the season, and if you didn’t then the rest of you had us finishing ninth,” Rudan said.

“I think we’ve proven everyone wrong and it doesn’t bother us one little bit because more than likely we’ll be written off for the finals as well.

“That’s just how we like it.”

With the final game of the season out of the way Rudan can now look ahead to the finals, and in Melbourne Victory he believes his side face an opponent they’re more than capable of matching in a high-stakes affair.

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“We’ve got a lot of confidence going into finals football, particularly (against) Victory,” Rudan said.

“We led all three times gainst them (this season), we’ve played well against them, they match up well against us as well.

“If I was an opposition coach in the finals I’d be looking at my team irrespective of today, it’s got nothing to do with it.

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“Take this game away, no dramas.”

Featured image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Matthew Comito
Matthew Comito
Football nut, student journalist and firm believer that Berisha dived in the 2012 A-League Grand Final. Covering Perth Glory for the 2018/19 season.

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