No underestimating tricky 'Nix

CENTRAL Coast Mariners Assistant Coach Phil Moss believes Wellington Phoenix’s current position on the competition ladder doesn’t accurately reflect the Kiwi side’s capacity to compete with the A-League’s elite.

CENTRAL Coast Mariners Assistant Coach Phil Moss believes Wellington Phoenix-s current position on the competition ladder doesn-t accurately reflect the Kiwi side-s capacity to compete with the A-League-s elite.

Ricki Herbert-s ‘Nix sit 14 points behind Graham Arnold-s team in seventh place on the A-League standings having recorded three wins, three draws, and five defeats this season.

But Moss insists the Wellingtonians - who have lost to Sydney FC and Adelaide United in the past two rounds - remain a difficult side to break down, especially at their breezy home base.

“We-re not going over there thinking that they-re a team down on confidence and down on form,” Moss said on Wednesday. “They-re playing some good stuff and they-ll be dangerous at home.”

“Definitely coming off two losses on the trot there will be a lot more desperation about them.”

The Mariners enjoy a strong record in the land of the long white cloud having collected 17 of a possible 30 points from their journeys to the New Zealand capital.

Moss acknowledges that the team has put in a string of standout displays at Westpac Stadium in the past, and this season take valued memories to the venue.

“We probably broke the mould a little bit because Wellington have such a strong home record and I think we were the first club to really question that record,” he said. “And then we really started to get on top.”

“I think just having the nice memory of winning the Premiers Plate there last season still remains in the memory and we always seem to put on a decent performance there.”

Moss revealed the Mariners- good run at the ‘Cake Tin- can in part be attributed to their consistent approach in travelling from the New South Wales Central Coast, to New Zealand-s second most populous city.

“We-ve got quite a good system in place in getting to Wellington,” Moss explained.

“We train here in the morning, then we go to Sydney and spend the night before travelling out the following morning.”

“We time our schedule once we-re over there to stay on Sydney time, so it (the travel) doesn-t bother us at all.”

“It-s a lovely city.”

Wellington Phoenix vs. Central Coast Mariners - Hyundai A-League round 12 Saturday 22 December, 2012 Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand Kick-off: 5:00pm (local); 3:00pm (AEDST) Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter. The official match hashtag is #NIXvCCM TV: LIVE on Fox Sports 1 & Fox Sports 1HD from 3:00pm AEDST