Wellington Phoenix are determined to end a terrible season on a positive note when they take on Melbourne Victory on Sunday.
A turbulent A-League campaign, which eventually cost coach Ricki Herbert his job, ends at Westpac Stadium this weekend.
A draw or a win could see them avoid the dreaded wooden spoon if Melbourne Heart fail to get a result against Central Coast Mariners the day before.
“We want to try and get off the bottom of the table. That’s what we’re playing for,” said captain Andrew Durante.
“We’ve been really good in the last three or four weeks in the way we’ve played, not just results.
“The performances have been a lot better. Hopefully we continue that and hopefully put in a good performance for the crowd for our last game.”
Durante, who made his New Zealand debut against the Solomon Islands in Honiara on Tuesday, admitted it was a season he would be glad to see the back of.
After a string of poor results, even poorer performances and ultimately Herbert’s resignation, who could blame him?
“It’s been a very up and down season and a really disappointing season to be honest,” he said.
“I think everyone realises that. But we’ve got a home game to finish and hopefully people come out and see us off in a good way.”
Striker Stein Huysegems, whose season has been resurrected since Chris Greenacre took over as interim head coach, expects an open game with plenty of goal-mouth action.
“(Victory) always score a lot of goals and we want to win our last game of the season at home for the supporters,” said the Belgian.
“I think there is going to be a lot of space for the attackers.
“Hopefully it’s a nice game for the supporters and a good result for us at the end of the season.
“We’ll know the result of Melbourne Heart before the game so that can maybe motivate us to take a point or three points.”
Greenacre will be without Vince Lia (toe), Glen Moss (knee) and Tony Lochhead (leg), while Isaka Cernak (ankle) is still doubtful for the match.
It leaves Greenacre light on holding midfielders with Manny Muscat expected to remain at right-back and Ian Hogg at left-back.
Louis Fenton, Dani Sanchez, Alex Smith and Cameron Lindsay are Greenacre’s midfield options.
Returning All Whites Durante, Ben Sigmund, Leo Bertos, Jeremy Brockie and Mark Paston are all expected to start.
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