13 Oct 2016

Phoenix keen on return of All Whites

5:03 pm on 13 October 2016

The Wellington Phoenix are hoping the return of five All Whites can help kickstart their A-League season against Perth Glory on Sunday.

Andrew Durante playing against USA 2016.

Andrew Durante playing against USA 2016. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Phoenix suffered a dissapointing loss to a 10 man Melbourne City 1-0 last weekend.

The five players were with the All Whites in the United States for friendlies against Mexico and the USA.

Coach Ernie Merrick said all signs point to the players being able to hit the ground running.

"All should be right, they all tell me they are right and ready to go, but we'll asses that in Perth," Merrick said.

"They'll arrive on Friday at lunch time and we'll make sure they get looked after, a massage or whatever else they need and we'll take a couple of extra players with us just to make sure we're covered."

Only Michael McGlinchey played two full games with the All Whites, whilst Andrew Durante, Matt Ridenton, Louis Fenton and Kosta Barbarouses all received limited playing time.

The availability of Durante and Barborouses should add a spark to the team after struggling on both ends of the pitch last weekend, Merrick said.

"Key players that we missed last week was, obviously, the centre of defence. So having Andrew Durante back is really important, and we created numerous goal scoring opportunities and we didn't score. Kosta Barborouses is available and hasn't played many minutes at all.

"They're the two key players to get back."