5 Mar 2010

It's been a tough week for the Phoenix

6:23 pm on 5 March 2010

The Wellington Phoenix has had a tough week heading into Sunday's home football play-off against Newcastle, with the side forced to train without coach Ricki Herbert and six key players.

Defenders Andrew Durante and Jon McKain have been in Brisbane with the Australian football side this week, while four others travelled to Pasadena with coach Ricki Herbert for the All Whites match against Mexico last night.

While the Australian squad members arrived back yesterday the All Whites don't fly in until tomorrow morning, giving the side just over 24 hours together before kick-off.

The Phoenix assistant coach Jonathan Gould says missing so many players this week has not been ideal for the squad's preparation, but the side is still heading into the match with confidence.