'I don’t think there’s any team in the league we fear': Taylor backs Phoenix to upend Victory
Confidence is not an area Steven Taylor lacks in and it seems it’s having a positive effect on his Wellington Phoenix teammates.
The Nix make the short trip north to Auckland's Eden Park where they will host Melbourne Victory as they look to strengthen their hold on a top six spot.
The 33-year old Englishman, whose arrival has helped spark a resurgence in the Phoenix’s fortunes, said his side back themselves regardless of the opposition.
“We believe in ourselves, I don’t think there’s any team in the league that we fear and with the players we’ve got we know we can hurt them,” Taylor said.
The ex-Newcastle United defender noted the influence of manager Mark Rudan as well as their form away from home as key difference makers during this campaign.
“It’s a positive mindset that Mark drives through the squad, to go on the front foot and get after teams,” he said.
“I think you’ve seen this season we’ve put in some good performances away from home as well, I think in the past Wellington have struggled. With the kind of form we’ve had we’ve been full of confidence.
“I think a lot of teams may go away from home, sit back and soak up the pressure… but for us we go out there like a home game and just take the game to any team that we come against.”
If history is anything to go by fans could be in for a thriller with the Nix and Victory playing out two classics already this season.
Back in December they drew 1-1 in an edgy game before turning it on in January with an end-to-end 3-3 result.
With both games at AAMI Park, Taylor said his side were focused on turning the one point into three at home.
“We took the lead twice [against Victory], unfortunately for us we didn’t maintain that but you can see in the games it’s been very feisty and it will be Friday night, two teams, two in-form teams,” he said.
“We’ll be going at it on the front foot and we’re looking forward to taking the game to them.”
Rudan echoed the thoughts of his defender, calling on his side to capitalise on their past performances against Kevin Muscat’s men.
“We want to turn a draw into a win in front of our home crowd,” Rudan said.
“We’ve done awfully well against the Champions. Not many teams go to AAMI Park and get the results that we’ve gotten so far so here at home we certainly want to turn that around and make sure we win the game.”