1 Mar 2017

Sport: Puaikura FC talk up their OFC Champions League hopes

1:27 pm on 1 March 2017

Puaikura FC are bullish about their chances of reaching the OFC Champions League knockout rounds.

The Cook Islands title holders took a surprise lead against 2016 runners-up Team Wellington at the weekend before eventually going down 4-1.

Coach Kevin Fallon said, despite the scoreline, he was encouraged by the performance of his players.

"We were with them for probably about an hour....at no stage at that game were any of the players embarrassed and I felt we coped reasonably well," he said.

"A lot of them are playing together for the first time and the rest of the squad is young, quite a few teenagers out there so it's a great experience for the Cook Islands players.

"What I'm saying to them now is to keep focused and ready for the next game."

Puaikura FC coach Kevin Fallon says they learned a lot in the opening game.

Puaikura FC coach Kevin Fallon says they learned a lot in the opening game. Photo: OFC via Alain Vartane

Kevin Fallon said Puaikura were more than capable of winning their final two group matches, starting tonight against Ba from Fiji.

"We are employing the right tactics, I can assure you," he said.

"We're certainly not...thinking that we may lose - we may also get a draw and we might also get a result and that's the attitude we're taking into this.

"No team of mine ever lies down: I know the team will be trying hard and I've seen Ba play and I've also seen the New Caledonian side [Hienghène Sport] play.

"They play to a very very high state, a lot of physicality so it will be a different type of game."

Kevin Fallon said two wins would pile the pressure on Team Wellington, who take on Hienghène Sport tonight.