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Phoenix keen to avoid repeat of brawl

Wellington Phoenix are confident there will be no repeat of the ugly scenes that marred their pre-season fixture against Newcastle this weekend.

In August, an all-in-brawl between the two sides – following a 25th-minute tackle from Tiago on Manny Muscat – resulted in red cards for those two players and Phoenix defender Ben Sigmund.

Phoenix captain Andrew Durante was sent off later in the match for lashing out at James Brown when he was on the ground.

All four were banned for between two to four matches, while the Phoenix trio were also fined by their club.

But Durante believes there would be no lingering resentment for either side in Sunday’s A-League encounter at Hunter Stadium.

“It was a pre-season game. It was our first proper pre-season (game). There was a lot of feeling involved in that. But that was pre-season. It was a long time ago,” Durante said.

“You won’t see any of that nonsense on the weekend.

“There is nothing underlying at all. It’s always a tough, physical battle against them. We’re a tough, physical team. We’ll go out there and play our game but we won’t be thinking about anything from the last game.”

Assistant Chris Greenacre felt the coaching staff would not have to remind the players of the need to stay disciplined.

“They are fully aware,” said the Englishman.

“After all the shenanigans that went on in pre-season the boys suffered massively on the tour of India and were unable to get the minutes required at the right time under their belt.

“They know what that punishment was like. We just probably need to remind them of that. I think that should be enough to keep everyone under control.

“There will be a couple of niggles I think, but we’ve got to be professional and deal with it and let the referees deal with it the way they can.”

Thu 15 November, 2012
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