Wellington Phoenix will need 90 minutes-plus of error-free football if they want to push high-flying Sydney FC tonight, Nix coach Darije Kalezic says.
Wellington Phoenix's Matthew Ridenton in action during an A-League game between Wellington Phoenix and Adelaide United at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
The A-League leaders have lost only one game this season, nearly three months ago, while Wellington sit at the bottom of the ladder with just three wins from 17 games.
While Sydney are coming off a clinical 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory, Wellington stumbled at home to a 1-0 defeat by Adelaide United.
They will travel to Sydney without playmaker Roy Krishna, who is in Auckland for further tests on a troublesome hamstring, but Kalezic is hopeful striker Andrija Kaludjerovic will be a starter.
The 30-year-old Serbian suffered a foot injury last week, but although he has recovered better than expected, a decision won't be made until late on Thursday.
There is also a question mark over defender Tom Doyle, who is carrying a groin strain.
Wellington have already lost twice to the defending champions this season, a third-round 3-2 loss followed by a more substantial 4-1 defeat at Westpac Stadium just before Christmas.
Kalezic says Wellington have learned from those losses.
"We didn't see any problems from the tactical point of view but individual mistakes were fatal for us.
"Tomorrow I think we have to show more quality and don't make individual mistakes," he said.
"I believe we will again be organised, which is very, very important against Sydney but then is the question about whether can we keep playing 90 minutes without fatal mistakes."
Kalezic says the Sky Blues' patience and ability to strike from the counterattack made them a dangerous opponent.
"They have a quality to create chances and goals from nothing. They don't have to be dominant.
"We have to be not only organised but really, really sharp."