'Loud and ugly': Rudan issues rallying cry for Eden Park cauldron

Wellington Phoenix boss Mark Rudan wants a partisan Auckland crowd to turn the tables on Melbourne Victory by generating an "ugly" atmosphere at Eden Park on Friday.

Reports suggest more than 20,000 fans could turn out to see the sixth-placed Wellington take on Kevin Muscat’s men in a match essential to both clubs’ Finals Series ambitions.

Victory are well accustomed to intense settings but Rudan hopes a venue synonymous with New Zealand sporting successes can provide an intimidating backdrop to a memorable Phoenix triumph.

STATS PREVIEW: All the key numbers ahead of Round 19
MATCH PREVIEW: Phoenix seek to snap Victory's strong away streak
WATCH FOR FREE: How to watch the Hyundai A-League LIVE and FREE

"It's a grand theatre, it's quite iconic," Rudan said of the 119-year-old Eden Park.

"You can tell it's held some memorable sporting moments. Hopefully we can add to that from a football perspective. That's going to be the plan.

"From what I understand ticket sales are going through the roof.

"They're quite parochial and vocal here in Auckland. The louder the better.

"I'm kind of sick and tired of going to AAMI Park and listening to their fans, and they are one of the best in the A-League.

"I'm hoping we can turn the table and make this loud and ugly for them."

Speculation no distraction for playing squad

Speaking on Thursday, Rudan was forced to deflect questions surrounding his long-term future in charge of a side he has led to an encouraging seven Hyundai A-League victories.

Wellington were bottom of the ladder this time last season and the former Sydney United 58 mentor's work in overhauling the Kiwi club's fortunes has led to his name being mentioned in relation to other coaching posts.

Rudan said he had discussed the situation with the playing group and their focus on achieving results remained unhindered.

"We want to stay in this moment, we're together in this, and that's probably the most important thing right now," he said.


"There are talks going on behind closed doors with the club.

"I've heard from the club and I'm going to be hearing more from them. I'm putting forward my case and I've made it quite clear.

"I've got a personal situation that I've got to resolve – I've got two teenage kids who need their dad around, and dad needs them around as well.

"The club also understands that I want a proper project and I wanted to build on this. I'm not going to sit back and rest on my laurels. Everything needs to improve."

New free to air banner