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Phoenix not feeling pressure despite going pointless in opening two match

Wellington Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay has no points but no worries as he heads into an A-League round three clash with Perth Glory.

The distance derby presents the Nix a chance to get their season moving and Talay, with the help of new striker Gary Hooper, is confident they will.

Hooper, an ex-Celtic and English Premier League striker, arrived 10 days ago and is set to start on the bench.

"We're slowly building him up to get him to get game time," Talay said.

Nevertheless, Talay is confident the goals will start raining in, dismissing the notion of early season pressure settling in at the league's minnows.

"Pressure is for people who aren't prepared. We've been preparing quite well," he said.

"If you look at the stats we've created the most opportunities out of the two games. We are creating, we just need to put the ball in the back of the net.

"We've created 32 chances in two rounds. If we can put half of those in the net it's 15 goals.

"It's coming. We're due a win and hopefully we get a win over Perth Glory."

While the A-League's official statistics provider - Opta - don't provide public stats on chances created, Wellington are second in the league for shots (24) and big chances (4).

Ulises Davila, a Mexican journeyman with prodigious talents, scored the club's first goal of the season in a 2-1 away loss to Sydney FC last weekend.

Davila will remain at the top of a midfield system, with 20-year-old Kiwi star- in-waiting Callum McCowatt likely to remain in the first team XI as Hooper works on his fitness.

Talay brushed off concerns that his newly arrived marquee will show his pedigree despite his last campaign - with championship side Sheffield Wednesday - wrecked by a shoulder injury.

"I don't think we took a gamble on him," he said.

"He showed last season when he actually came back and played some games.

"That's not a concern. The main concern is that we get him right and get him ready before we throw him down the deep end."

Walter Scott will also start his first match in Wellington - debuting against his former side - with Liberato Cacace suspended.

While Glory have no unavailability issues, the reigning premiers, have begun the season with two 1-1 draws, against Brisbane Roar and Western United.


Wellington Phoenix defender Liberato Cacace. Source: Photosport


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