My tribe

Wellington Phoenix to return to conventional defensive formation

Wellington Phoenix will scrap their back three idea and return to a conventional four-man defence according to captain Andrew Durante.

Durante, along with Jade North and Ben Sigmund, made up the defensive trio in the 2-2 draw with Melbourne Heart on the weekend but will they will not go with that formation against league leaders Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night.

Although Durante feels the three-man idea could work, he conceded that it may need a bit more tinkering before it really comes off.

"We need to adapt to it (a back three) and obviously we need to gel a bit better. Although the three of us have played three at the back at various times in our careers we hadn't played it together till the game against Heart," he said.

"It does take some getting used to because it's not simply about where the back three are, it's also about where everyone in the team is positioned at certain times on the field.

"It's definitely something we can use during the season or whenever Ricki (Herbert) feels it's appropriate. There are positives in that it gives us a lot more options up front and we should be much more dangerous higher up, whereas a back four is much more solid but less attacking.

"There are pros and cons to both but we should be good enough to be able to play both formations."

Durante knows that the Reds will be a tough proposition this weekend but says going in as clear underdogs will allow the Phoenix to play with a winning mindset.

"We'll go there with the mindset that we've got nothing to lose. No one's beaten them this year, there's no pressure on us and we'll go out and try to be the first team to knock them off," he added.

Andrew Slevison
About the author

Andrew Slevison

Have your say
  • Add your favourite leagues and clubs
  • Build your own personal news stream
  • Easily share your favourite stories
  • Connect with what your friends are saying

Select your favourite
leagues and clubs
to get started.

Already part of MyTribe?