Rudan's big praise for free-scoring Phoenix

Mark Rudan cannot help but marvel at the football his free-scoring Wellington Phoenix side are putting on show in the Hyundai A-league.

Rudan’s side issued a statement of intent to the rest of the competition in Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers.

A lethal 21-minute spell produced three high-calibre finishes from Roy Krishna, Mandi and David Williams as Wellington underlined their credentials as potential Championship dark horses.

It came just eight days after the New Zealanders lashed eight goals past Central Coast Mariners in Round 21’s 8-2 drubbing.

“We keep challenging them every day, every week,” Rudan said following the win.

“We work a lot on shooting as well. It was three superb goals tonight, superb goals.

“You don’t mind a tap in every now and then but you’ll take those because it puts a smile on not just everyone on the team’s faces but also the fans too.

“I think the sort of football we’re playing is a joy to behold, particularly that third goal, the combination play was just superb. That’s what football is about.

“We’ve been working extremely hard throughout the season and it’s good to get your just rewards.”

READ: Mandi nets stunner as Phoenix cruise past Wanderers
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Despite tallying 11 goals in two matches of Hyundai A-League football, Wellington’s triumph was soured by the late dismissal of Krishna, who saw red following a stray elbow in the face of Wanderers defender Raul Llorente.

But having seen the likes of Max Burgess and Antony Golec slot seamlessly into gaps left by Sarpreet Singh and Steven Taylor over the last fortnight, Rudan must surely feel confident the void left by the Fijian flyer’s imminent absence will be capably occupied.

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“Last week we had Alex Rufer and Steven Taylor out and it didn’t bother us, we didn’t even make mention of it and the boys that came in did a superb job,” Rudan said.

“And again tonight, Golec’s done well… its purely about performance now be it in a game or on the training field.

“I don’t care what you’ve done, I’m not too bothered about your reputation in the game, it’s completely about your performance.

“Whether you’re Gianni Stensness who’s come on and got another game under his belt in the A-League, or whether you’re Andrew Durante.

“It’s purely about performance running into the finals now.”