Week 1 results positive for us - Wellington Phoenix’s Durante

Wellington Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante admits the results from A-League’s opening round of action are a positive for the New Zealanders.

Wellington Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante admits the results from A-League’s opening round of action are a positive for the New Zealanders.

The Phoenix were given the bye in week 1 with the new 11-team competition this season and were able to sit back and watch as only one match got a result with the rest being draws.

“To put a positive spin on the bye for us, it was good to see what the other teams were doing and it worked out well for us with everyone drawing and only the Central Coast Mariners getting the win against Melbourne Heart,” said Durante.

“It was clear that the competition this season will be much closer than it has been before and that was reflected in the results at the weekend. I think most of the teams will still be feeling their way into things given that it was the opening round and everyone will be doing a lot of work now on aspects of their play. There’s no clear top team at the moment and I expect the competition to stay that way, particularly in the early stages.”

The Phoenix take on Gold Coast United on Friday night in their first match of the season and Durante believes they do not fear last year’s third-place getter.

“They weren’t as impressive as I thought they might be; they were a little bit behind the eight-ball for most of the match. Hopefully they’ll come here to Wellington and struggle again, but I’m sure (coach) Miron Bleiberg would’ve got stuck into them (after the game) and they’ll be gunning for a better performance this time around,” he added.

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