Wellington have won five games on the bounce against Central Coast but coach Ufuk Talay is more concerned with another A-League streak on Sunday.
The Wollongong-based side are yet to win a game this season and are desperately trying to snap an eight-game winless streak – their longest since 2016.
While they’ve struggled to get points on the board, Talay said he will make tactical changes to get a critical win and kick-start their campaign.
Their 2-1 loss to Newcastle last week exposed a weakness in their counter-attack defence with two goals scored against the run of play.
“There might be a few tweaks for this game against Central Coast,” he said.
“That’s something that we do need to improve on.
“We had 65 per cent of the possession against Newcastle, and we do have a lot of the ball … (counter attack) is when you’re most vulnerable. That’s something we tweaked this week ahead of Central Coast.
“They’re very disciplined. They’re on a high at the moment being on top of the table.
“For us we need to be disciplined when we have the ball and organised … this is one of those games where we need to rise from the ashes.”
Last year the Nix were at the bottom of the ladder until round seven before a winning streak saw them finish third.
It comes as a warning for the Mariners, who have lost all of their past five games against the side.
“We’ve only played three games, some teams have played six games,” Talay said.
“For us it’s very important to go to the Central Coast and get three points and what a great occasion to do it against the ladder leaders.”
Confidence is high in Gosford after three wins from four games.
However, the Mariners will be without teen sensation Josh Nisbet, who is out with an ankle injury he picked up against Sydney FC last week.
*STATS THAT MATTER*
*Wellington Phoenix have won their last five A-League games on the bounce against Central Coast Mariners; a sixth consecutive win against them would equal the Phoenix club record for most consecutive wins against a single opponent (6 v Newcastle Jets from 2010 to 2012).
*Wellington Phoenix have struck the woodwork with a shot at goal on 15 occasions since the beginning of the 2019/20 A-League season, the most of any team in the competition and the only team to have done so more times than Central Coast Mariners (13) in that time.