Burns: More to show from Nix imports

In-form Wellington forward Nathan Burns says European midfielders Roly Bonevacia and Alejandro Gorrin have yet to hit their stride for the Phoenix and will only get better as the season goes on.

Dutchman Bonevacia and Spaniard Gorrin arrived in New Zealand in the off-season and have made an immediate impact at the club.

The duo have started all three A-League games, alongside fellow import Albert Riera in a three-man midfield, and have helped the Phoenix to two victories.

Bonevacia, 23, joined Wellington from Dutch side Roda JC while 21-year old Gorrin came from Sunderland’s Under-21s.

Burns has been impressed by the pair.

“They’re very good players,” he said.

“Very good of the club to bring them here and obviously they’ve got massive potential. They’re so young. We know that they can play and if they’re consistent throughout the season it’ll be perfect for us.”

Bonevacia, who is a product of Ajax’s famed academy and has made over 50 appearances in the Eredivisie, has represented the Netherlands at Under-17 and Under-19 level.

Gorrin joined Sunderland’s youth set-up in 2009 and captained the English Premier League club’s youth team.

Burns believes the two midfielders are just getting started.

“They’ve still got more to show, they haven’t even hit their stride yet,” he said. “I think they can get even better.”

Burns said the Phoenix are pleased with their opening to the A-League, with wins over Newcastle and the Mariners in the past two weeks.

“So far we’ve had a pretty good start,” he said.

“Six points from three games is probably where we wanted to be at. We’re pretty confident at this stage, we’ve got some tough games coming up in the next three, that’ll really test us. But yeah, overall, I think the squad’s very happy with the start.

“Obviously the Jets are a good team, they’ve made a lot of good signings this year. I think we got some early goals and they found it very hard to come out second half and try and play.

"It was a very good result and we kind of really wanted a home victory as well to get the fans behind us. We went out to play some good football and it was good.”

Burns has featured in all three A-League games this season on the right side of a three-man front line, scoring three goals and setting up two others. It’s a been a positive start for the Socceroo attacker.

“I’m very happy with how I’ve started,” Burns said.

“But on the back end of that, the team’s been doing very well and I’ve been getting some good opportunities. Three goals, three games, pretty happy. I just want to continue on that run.

“We’re all pretty new with playing with each other so we’re happy to gel in such a short time. Hopefully it just gets stronger and stronger as the season goes on. At this stage we do a lot of work at training on combinations so we’re all kind of on the same wavelength.

“We had a good pre-season and prepared for the EPL games, which was good. Ernie’s very good tactically, he knows what he’s doing. He has his style of football, which is really hard to defend for the opposition.

“It’s still early days in the A-League. We’re probably where we should be. We’re not really flying under the radar now because teams are on notice, but it’s a good stage. It’s still so early on in the season so a lot can change.”

The Phoenix take on Melbourne Victory away from home on Monday evening. The 26-year old described Victory as the competition’s benchmark but Wellington will be going to AAMI Park without any fear.

“They’re probably the benchmark of the A-League,” Burns said.

“But they’ve had the FFA Cup [mid-week] so they might be a bit tired. I think we can definitely go there and give our best. We don’t have a lot to lose against Victory, so we can give 100 per cent and try and pinch the three points or get a draw.”