Smith: Looking forward to being back at home

Head Coach Alex Smith has a clear direction in mind for his squad and hopes that they demonstrate this by securing three points at home this Sunday against Wellington Phoenix. 

Smith is remaining positive but aspires to turn the season around with a couple of wins in upcoming games, conscious of three away fixtures this month. 

“There’s quite a few away games so we need to take advantage of the home games that we do have. It’s something like eight out of 11 games are away over the next however long but we’re looking forward to being at Perry again,” Smith said.

The manager outlines the importance of fan support and the boost it gives the players on game day. This will be particularly helpful as the playing group aim for a big three points against third-placed Phoenix. 

“It’s huge, nice and close there at Perry, you can really hear the fans and get involved with the fans. Especially with the heat, it’s like having an extra player on the pitch. Hopefully we get a lot of support, and everyone comes out and is cheering hard,” he said. 

“I’m conscious of the positives that we took from the game, but we’ve got to tighten things up and start winning football games.”

Reflecting on last week’s loss, Smith believes his squad are building the confidence to maintain intensity through to the end of games. 

“I said to the girls, it was there for you, you just had to reach out and grab it. They’re getting used to the style and the demanding nature of it. They’ve got to get used to expecting to win games,” Smith said.

“In the first five minutes we could’ve had three or four goals, and for the game, we created six chances. From that point of view, I was pleased,” he added.

“It’s just about putting together a full performance for 90 minutes and coming away with the three points.”

The playing group are looking forward to kicking off the New Year with a big game in front of a home crowd and are determined for three points. 

“[Wellington] are a tidy football team, they’ve got some good players. I’m not expecting anything different from them.”

“I think recovery has been our biggest challenge over the last three weeks but I’m certainly looking forward to being back at home and the girls are as well. Just need to put together a full performance and hopefully that stands us in good stead, and we can get three points.”