The coming week will go a long way to deciding if Dubbo’s Jacob Tratt and his Wellington Phoenix teammates make the A-League finals.
Starting with this Saturday’s clash with Central Coast Mariners, the Phoenix have three home matches at their home of Westpac Stadium in the space of eight days.
With the club currently sitting in eighth, four points outside of the top six, those games may well decide the Phoenix’s season.
After Tratt and co. play the Mariners this weekend, the club has just over 72 hours before welcoming the Melbourne Victory.
That match is the replay of a round seven fixture which was abandoned and one of the big reasons behind the club’s hectic schedule.
Following that, the Birsbane Roar travel to Wellington on Saturday, January 21.
Tratt, as he has all season, is expected to line up at right back again. The former local junior has been a mainstay in the side and one of few shining lights for the men in black and gold.
Despite this season having more negatives than positives so far, the club has shown some improvement in recent weeks following Des Buckingham and Chris Greenacre’s appointment as full time coaches.
“Every day they’re enthusiastic, they’re pushing the boundaries of what we can do,” striker Shane Smeltz told the club’s official website.
“I think as players, we know we have to raise in every aspect for this game. You can see the table doesn’t lie, we need to improve.”