Talay buoyed by Phoenix run as they close in on matching long-standing club record

Ufuk Talay admits momentum is building with his in-form Wellington Phoenix as they surged into the Hyundai A-League top six for the first time this season.

Phoenix recorded their third straight win after Ulises Davila netted a late penalty to sink Western Sydney Wanderers 2-1 at Auckland’s Eden Park on Saturday.

If they can make that a four-game winning streak when they take on Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park next Saturday, it will equal the club’s best run since March 2015.

“There is momentum and there’s also confidence,” said Talay when asked if there’s something building amongst his Phoenix players.

“The more you wins games the players are more confident and they want to get on the ball more.

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“The more our players want to get on the ball it means the more chances we have to go forward and creating opportunities.

“We’re heading in the right direction. The players are starting to work well together and players are starting to understand their roles.

“I do not look at where we are, the most important thing is that we try to win our game each week, and then we'll see where we're at at the end of the season.”

While Phoenix got the right result against the Wanderers, the performance was not as polished as they produced in wins over Brisbane Roar and Adelaide United in recent weeks.

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Goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic made a string of crucial saves as the visitors dominated the first half, before Phoenix stole the lead just after the break through Jaushua Sotirio.

The Wanderers hit back through a goal from German playmaker Nicolai Muller, before a late handball against Pirmin Schwegler – awarded by the VAR – gave Davila his second winning goal in as many weeks.

“I always expect more and I always demand more from my players,” Talay admitted.

"They know me quite well, I'm never happy with a lot of things.

“At times it does happen – we started a bit slow, a bit sluggish, then we fixed things at halftime and they came out and they changed the intensity of the game as well.”

Talay said he was unsure over the seriousness of Alex Rufer’s knee injury, with the midfielder to undergo an MRI to learn the extent of the problem.

Wellington Phoenix travel to AAMI Park next Saturday to do battle with Melbourne Victory in Round 10. The match on Saturday, 14 December kicks off at 5pm AEDT. 
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