Finkler fired up for milestone match


Gui Finkler is hoping to make his 100th Hyundai A-League appearance a memorable one, as Wellington Phoenix shoot for a third straight win against Melbourne City on Sunday.

Finkler will register the milestone at AAMI Park and the Brazilian would love nothing more than the three points to mark the occasion.

“It’s always great to achieve something like that in the league. Not many players achieve that. I was happy when I moved to Australia and moving to the A-League, and hopefully on Sunday get three points to celebrate,” Finkler said.

The postponed game last weekend equipped the players with an extra week of training and a chance to sharpen their focus on Melbourne City.

“We always have to take the positive side, because we have more time to train and focus on the way they set up and play. The coach had a lot of time to think and prepare,” Finkler added.

Phoenix are coming off two back-to-back wins and will be bolstered further by having a near full-strength squad against second placed City.

“The first game against Melbourne [City], we were missing a lot of players and this game is going to be a totally different match. We have had two positive results the last couple of games, and we are going to go in and do the job we have been doing,” Finkler said.

Wellington Phoenix's Gui Finkler, Hamish Watson and Kosta Barbarouses celebrate a goal in the FFA Cup.

Head Coach Ernie Merrick was also pleased with the break and is excited about having a strong squad for the game, even if it brings some selection headaches.

“Last time we played them they beat us 1-0 and we had five players out. Now we have a full squad,” Merrick said.

“The spirits are very high, and they have been energetic in training. All week we have had good training sessions and have a full squad virtually, apart from [Michael] Mcglinchey and [Tom] Doyle, everyone is fresh.”

Mcglinchey and Doyle are hopeful of returning in the next few weeks, but Phoenix are not taking any chances.

“Mcglinchey has a swollen cartilage and the date of the injury is about six weeks. He only has another four weeks until he is right,” Merrick said.

“Tom Doyle has been training twice a week, but will be back in a couple of weeks.”

After victories and clean sheets in their last two matches, the Head Coach now wants his side to continue where they left off.

“I’ve said to the boys that we need to get a run going at some stage, so we have to do well in three or four of those games and get results out of those six. I would never say win all six but we want to do well in four,” Merrick said.

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