FFA Cup: Phoenix unfazed by home game ban

Wellington Phoenix midfielder Michael McGlinchey says his team-mates are determined to go on an FFA Cup run despite tournament regulations which forces them to play all their matches away from home.

The Phoenix will face Melbourne City in the round of 16 after winning 1-0 at Central Coast on Tuesday night.

Pics: FFA Cup action

Last year, Wellington exited the competition at the round of 32 stage, losing 1-0 to eventual winners Adelaide United, but now face the prospect of an exhausting run of additional fixtures on the road.

Under tournament regulations, the Phoenix must play all of their FFA Cup matches in Australia, thus adding to their already challenging travel requirements should they go on a cup run.

The FFA Cup regulations read: “As a club licensed by FFA to participate in the Hyundai A-League, Wellington Phoenix should be afforded the same opportunity as other Hyundai A-League clubs to play in the Westfield FFA Cup.

“As a professional club, Wellington Phoenix is not able to play in New Zealand Football's Chatham Cup. In accordance with FIFA Regulations, Wellington Phoenix's participation in the Westfield FFA Cup has been approved by FIFA, the AFC, the OFC and New Zealand Football.”

Round of 16 draw

The Phoenix started pre-season on June 25 and have already had trips to Hong Kong and Fiji, but McGlinchey, who played a full game on Tuesday against his former club, said that the players weren’t fazed by the regulations nor the prospect of additional travel.

“It definitely makes it tough - home advantage is huge,” McGlinchey told FourFourTwo.

“We were hoping we didn’t get Perth but that’s just the way it is, we’ll just get on with it.

“We’ve got a pretty good record away from home, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”

FFA Cup wrap

Wellington won seven of their 13 away A-League matches last term.

McGlinchey conceded there was plenty of room for improvement in Tuesday’s performance at Central Coast.

The Phoenix are believed to be close to securing their fifth visa player, likely a striker which the club hopes can go some way to replacing Johnny Warren medallist Nathan Burns who has joined FC Tokyo.

The club’s only off-season addition is former Sydney FC striker Blake Powell and McGlinchey hinted they’d need a youngster or two to step up in order to fill Burns’ void.

“We’ve lost a big player in Burnsy, so we need someone maybe from the youth to come through and do a job,” McGlinchey said.

“Young Matthew Ridenton started on the left and did well. Alex Rufer came on in the second half and I thought he did well up front. That’s a positive thing for us.”