Durante: Newcastle game will be tough
The Phoenix gave absolutely everything to claim a historic 2-1 win over West Ham in Auckland on Wednesday night.
Durante's header got his side in front before new signing Alejandro Rodriguez-Gorrin added a second as the Phoenix stunned the Hammers who grabbed a late goal through their new recruit Mauro Zarate.
Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick has already said his senior players will have to back up against Newcastle's "multi-million dollar" stars after just a couple of days' rest and Durante admitted that was going to be tough.
"Mentally it's not so hard to back up because we're going to be pumped for another big game and hopefully a full house (at Westpac Stadium)," Durante said. "But we'll see how the legs handle another game."
Durante doesn't expect the game plan to change too much against Newcastle, who outclassed Sydney 4-0 in the Football United Tour opener in Dunedin on Tuesday night.
Against West Ham the Phoenix were happy to press high on attack but they were able to soak up pressure when it was required too – something they struggled with last season.
"I'm sure (Newcastle) are going to dominate periods of the game so we'll just have to make sure we're defending well and compact," the centre back said.
"We had a tough year of defending last year and we want to make amends for that. We've been working hard on our defensive shape."
The Phoenix skipper will be hoping for more of the same from Rodriguez-Gorrin who set up Durante's goal as well as finding the net himself in an impressive first outing.
"It was a dream debut to be honest. I couldn't be any happier," said the Spaniard.
Sydney play West Ham in Saturday's first game with the Phoenix taking on Newcastle second in the Westpac Stadium double-header.