Wellington have copped a blow ahead of their A-League stoush against Sydney FC with attacker Jaushua Sotirio to miss up to six weeks with a knee injury.
The 25-year-old scored the match-winner against Central Coast last Sunday but suffered a knee injury in a clash at training during the week.
The 2-1 win was the first of the season for the Wollongong-based Phoenix, who are hoping to kick-start a run up the ladder against the A-League champions in Kogarah on Monday night.
After a patchy start to the season where they went a fortnight without a game due to border closures, the Nix are about to hit a busy stretch with four games in 13 days.
And according to coach Ufuk Talay, the hectic schedule could bring the best out of his side.
“I’ve very pleased we have a run of games now and that’s what’s most important for us,” he said.
“That’s the only way we can build momentum within the team.
“Some teams have played more games, some have played less. So for us it’s just very important what we do in our games.”
Sydney FC have an impressive record against most sides and the Nix are no exception.
The Sky Blues have won 10 of their past 13 match-ups, but are not the dominant force this season as they have been over the past two campaigns.
Steve Corica’s men have only won one of their past five games at Netstrata Stadium – which was once their home fortress – and are sitting sixth on the ladder with two wins and a draw from four games.
But Talay knows better than to assume they’re down and out.
“They’re still the champions of the last two seasons so they’re still a very good squad and a very difficult squad, so we’ll make sure we to set up and prepare and hopefully we can get the three points,” he said.
STATS THAT MATTER
* Sydney’s Trent Buhagair scored a brace against Wellington in July 2020, and his total three goals against them are his most against any A-League team
* Wellington’s Alex Rufer has a passing accuracy of 92 per cent from 175 attempts, the most of any player this season who has attempted 100 passes or more
* Wellington have never won an A-League game on a Monday, (D3, L8) and average three goals conceded per game.