Wellington will enter their sudden-death elimination final against Western United confident they've got the grit to deliver an upset off the back of fighting their way into the A-League Men top six.

Wellington Phoenix - Western United

  • Wellington made the finals, finishing sixth in the ladder.
  • The A-league side will face Western United in their elimination final this Saturday.

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The Phoenix have had to deal with another season spent away from home, bar their final two home games, while COVID-19 outbreaks and injuries have also caused disruption.

But Wellington will get their shot at the pointy end of the season when they face United at AAMI Park on Saturday night.

"The boys are a good bunch of boys, a very resilient group of players," head coach Ufuk Talay said.

"There's times where we haven't performed well and there's times we have performed well. The good thing is we've won more games than we've lost and we've got the required points to get ourselves in the top six.

"There's been challenges along the way and it's been the same for every team out there as well. Every team's had their challenges with injuries and COVID and the amount of games that we've played so close to each other.

"Everyone's gone through the same thing but I'm very proud of what the group has achieved to make the top six in, not tough circumstances, but in tougher than possibly other teams."

After losing to premiers Melbourne City 2-1 at AAMI Park on Monday night, Wellington will head back to NSW before returning to Melbourne later in the week.

Wellington have won six of eight league games against United, including both their clashes this season.

"They're still a good team, they finished in a good position in the back end of the season, they've got some experienced players," Talay said.

"We've had some good results against them but that was in the regular season. Finals football for me is a lot different, it's a one-off game."

United only took one point away from their final three games but Talay downplayed the importance of form.

"Momentum is important, but at the same time it's still a one-off game," Talay said.

"You want to be playing your best football in that game because you have to get the job done, possibly in 90 minutes, maybe extra-time and it goes to pens but it's a one-off game.

"Everyone will lift because it's finals football. Every player, every opposition will lift for that.

"It's nice to have that momentum and that confidence going into finals football but I still believe it's on the day."


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