Team Taranaki face short turnaround

Sandro Grandi will come back into the Team Taranaki squad for their next match.
GRANT MATTHEW/Fairfax NZ

Sandro Grandi will come back into the Team Taranaki squad for their next match.

Team Taranaki face a short turnaround and another road trip as they prepare for their next match in the Central League.

That's on Sunday when they head south to meet third placed Wairarapa United.

Team Taranaki coach Ian McGrath said the squad were loving the opportunities that each game presented and to date had coped very well with the challenges of the higher league.

"Our opponents are renowned for being attack minded, free flowing and very capable of scoring goals [13]," he said.

"The flip side of that positive aspect to their play is that they have conceded nearly as many [nine]. Perhaps a mentality of 'we will score more than you to win a game even if we concede goals in the process' seems to be their story so far. So it may make for quite an exciting game and we have to be prepared to limit their attacking potential to take advantage of their defensive vulnerability."

McGrath said the foundation of their unbeaten run to date was undoubtedly their solid organisation and defensive qualities out of possession, which has enabled us to contain the opposition and exploit their weaknesses when opportunities arise.

"That aspect of our play is still improving with every game, but our ability to defend a lead or not gift goals to the opposition has been impressive to date. Conversely, we are starting to show more enterprise on attack and threatening teams more often in that area of our game now.

"The good start provides us with a solid platform to continue evolving as a team and with the confidence of having points already in the bag it provides us with freedom to keep playing that way."

Sam De St Croix and Sandro Grandi will come back into the match day squad to provide options in midfield areas. That will leave a final spot in the 16-man travelling squad with McGrath to decide after the side's training on Thursday night.

"The group are really motivated to keep winning games and there is no reason why they cannot continue to do that," McGrath added.

"There is no pressure on us other than our own expectations and standards of performance, both individually and as a team. Therefore, we continue to just thrive on every occasion, enjoy the opportunity and challenges of each game in isolation and then move on to the next one."

 

 - Stuff

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