March 16, 2015 11:38:08 UK
Sitting at the top of the A-League will only add to the confidence of his side, according to Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick.
The club ended this week’s round in top spot for the first time in their eight-year history after downing previous leaders Perth Glory 2-1 at nib Stadium thanks to a brace from Roy Krishna.
No team will be taking anything for granted with six games left in the season – not even a top-four place. The league is the tightest it has ever been, and Glory’s defeat saw them drop from first to fourth.
Melbourne Victory, who are two points behind Wellington, have a game in hand over them but the Phoenix feel they have earned top spot having beaten Kevin Muscat’s side away from home a fortnight ago.
Wellington are 5.00 to win the Grand Final.
Merrick knows his team are there to be shot at now they lead the pack, but says three consecutive wins against premiership rivals have boosted their morale following a four-game winless streak.
“I’m not big on this thing called momentum, but I am big on confidence and there’s no doubt that when you win games like that the confidence grows,” Merrick said.
“And when you’ve got confident players, you’ve got players that want the ball all the time and can really show what you can do.
“I thought we started off extremely well and played some really good football, then we kind of dropped away, then we picked up again. When you score goals like Roy did it makes life easier and we just hung on there at the end.”
Wellington had leading scorer Nathan Burns (hip) and midfielder Alex Rodriguez (hamstring) missing in Perth, but the pair are expected to be available against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, where the Phoenix are 5/2 for the win.
Don’t forget, if the match finishes 0-0, bet365 will refund all pre-match Correct Score, Half-Time/Full-Time and Scorecast bets with our fantastic Bore Draw Money Back offer.
Looking for more from bet365? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or +1 us on Google+ for fun competitions, special offers & much more!
View all Soccer betting