Team Taranaki hit the road seeking max points

Team Taranaki head out on the road for the next two weekends focusing on picking up maximum points to keep their noses in front on the Federation Football League points table.

Today, the composite team plays Manawatu side Red Sox in Palmerston North and then it's on to Feilding the following weekend.

Fresh from a convincing 6-1 victory over Palmerston North Marist at Pukekura Park last Sunday in their first match of the second round, Team Taranaki are expecting sharp improvement from sides that they beat comfortably in the opening round.

"As always, the second-round games can be very different to the first round," head coach Ian McGrath said. "Results and performances for either side can act as a motivator to improve or lull you into a false sense of security.

"We are guarded in our approach and keen to give every opponent the utmost respect."

Team Taranaki will again be without senior striker Vinnie Sharp, who is nursing a troublesome hamstring injury suffered early this month in the game against Wanganui Athletic. He is expected back for the game against Feilding.

Mikey Reive, Joe Bailey and Ash Reader Nokes all come back into the starting eleven after being rested against Marist last weekend.

The trio are expected to add to a balanced and experienced lineup.

McGrath is looking for his side, the highest-scoring side in the league, to improve further in specific areas.

"Last week we lacked fluency and width at times in our play and we will be looking to get that right tomorrow," he said yesterday.

Taranaki Daily News