‘We don’t rely on luck, we rely on process’ – Talay says uplift in Phoenix form is no fluke
Wellington Phoenix boss Ufuk Talay says his side’s dramatic turnaround in form has got nothing to do with luck.
The Phoenix lost all four of their opening fixtures of the 2019/20 Hyundai A-League campaign but have since gone on an undefeated run of five games, winning three times and drawing twice to shoot into finals contention.
After Wellington drew with Melbourne Victory 0-0 at AAMI Park on Saturday afternoon Talay said the results continue to come as a result of his side trusting in the process.
“We don’t rely on luck, we rely on process and the process has been the same since day one,” Talay said post-match.
“Even the games we lost early doors I think we played some really good football but lost by one goal, and that’s part of the game.
“We’ve got a new squad, and things are starting to fall in place.
“The players are really confident, we have the belief and we’ve had that since day one.”
Wellington couldn’t take all three points from their visit to AAMI Park this weekend but Talay’s side produced a typically composed, skilful and possession-oriented style of play we’ve come to expect in recent weeks.
But despite extending his side’s unbeaten run to five games Talay was unsatisfied with the end result, as he believed the Phoenix had the better of the play and deserved maximum points for their effort.
“I thought we dominated Victory from the first minute to the 90th minute,” Talay said.
“I thought we played some really good football away from home; we didn’t create as many chances as we would have liked to but I thought we were the best team tonight.
“They made it difficult once they went to ten men, they were very compact and we found it hard to break them down.
“Overall I’m very pleased with the performance of the players.”
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One player Talay was particularly pleased with was Cameron Devlin, who put in a dogged performance in central midfield alongside Matti Steinmann in what was his first start of the campaign.
With Phoenix vice-captain Alex Rufer ruled out of the clash with an injury Devlin stepped into his shoes and excelled, giving Talay plenty to think about with his team selection next weekend.
“I thought Cameron Devlin played very well tonight in his first start this season,” Talay said.
“I thought he did an exceptional job filling in for Rufer this evening.
“For me I thought he was one of our best players.”
Devlin was fouled seven times throughout the 90 minutes as he threw his body into every challenge, and after the game the former Sydney FC man was just as delighted with his own performances as his coach was.
“I’m always wanting to get my chance and grab it with both hands,” Devlin told FOX Sports post-match.
“I’m just going to every training session wanting to do my best and improve every day.
“When my chance comes I want to do my best to take it and hopefully I keep my spot, but it’s a waiting game.
“I’ll just work as hard as I can every day, I know my time will come.”
After notching another gruelling point on the road Devlin and the Phoenix return to New Zealand where they will prepare for a bumper clash with league-leaders Sydney FC at Westpac Stadium next Saturday afternoon (2:45pm AEDT).
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