'We have to do our jobs' – Phoenix skipper on team's horror slump

Wellington Phoenix captain Andrew Durante is pointing the finger solely at his team, after a shocking opening 10 matches to their A-League season.

The Phoenix are currently rooted to the bottom of the A-League ladder, picking up just one win so far this season, while off field issues have resulted in the departures of star players Gui Finkler, Dario Vidosic and his father - assistant coach Rado.

However, undeterred by the controversies, Durante says his side need to perform with their backs to the wall against table toppers Sydney FC tomorrow night.

"In terms of the playing group, we're extremely united," Durante told media.

"I've been through many tumultuous times at this club - the only people that can get us out of it is the playing group and the coaching staff."

"We have to do our jobs. We get paid to train, we get paid to play."

With the team bottom of the A-League ladder, Andrew Durante says the Nix need to stand up. Source: 1 NEWS


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Watch: New Phoenix manager Mark Rudan's full interview with 1 NEWS

As the 2018/19 A-League draws closer, new Phoenix manager Mark Rudan is charged with reviving the club's fortunes - on and off the pitch.

Enshrined across the Tasman as an A-League winning skipper with Sydney FC - Rudan can't wait to get stuck into his new job, this time in the managerial hot seat.

Sitting down with 1 NEWS Sport's Dewi Preece, Rudan opened up about his excitement in his new job, how he's adapting to his new home in Wellington, and his expectations for the new season.

The Wellington Phoenix begin their A-League season against the Newcastle Jets this Sunday at Westpac Stadium.


 

Ahead of the new A-League season, the Nix's new boss chatted to Dewi Preece about his new challenge. Source: 1 NEWS


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Australian breakfast TV host makes insensitive slavery joke about Usain Bolt

Co-host of Australia's Sunrise breakfast show David Koch has outraged viewers, making a slavery joke about sprinter turned footballer Usain Bolt.

With Bolt currently down under attempting to earn a contract with the A-League's Central Coast Mariners, news of a European side's interest in snatching the Olympic legend's signature had the panel talking.

"So the Mariners sell him for money, they make a lot of money out of it?" asked Koch.

"Who said slavery was over."

The rest of the panel were left specchless as Koch tried to change the subject.

Viewers took to social media to express their dismay over the gaffe.

This latest incident comes a month after Sunrise were found to have breached the Australian TV code of practice for a segment on indigenous children.

David Koch made the comments on Channel Seven's Sunrise show about the Central Coast Mariner. Source: Sunrise


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Top Maltese club reportedly make offer to Usain Bolt, want him to 'spearhead their charge to Champions League'

Reigning Maltese top-flight champions Valletta FC are behind the power play to prematurely end Usain Bolt's bid for an A-League contract.

Valletta FC have put forward a two-year offer for the Jamaican sprint champion to "spearhead their charge to the Champions League" with an eye toward his potential debut in mid-December, ESPN reports.

"A champion is always welcome and at Valletta FC we believe nothing is impossible," the club's managing director and CEO Ghasston Slimen said.

Bolt's brace for the Central Coast Mariners in Friday night's trial match against Macarthur South West United is the likely catalyst for the Maltese side's interest.

It has seemingly put the Mariners on the clock to give him a full-time professional contract despite January being flagged as the probable deadline for a final decision.

The Mariners want the FFA to contribute to Bolt's multimillion-dollar contract but it is believed he doesn't meet the criteria as a marquee player.

Instead, A-League officials insist they could assist the Mariners by way of a marketing arrangement as well as enabling third-party sponsorships.

Bolt also has a number of personal sponsorships that could count against him.

W-League star Sam Kerr and new teammate Tommy Oar thrust their support behind Bolt on Friday, saying he deserved a marquee deal due to his obvious star power.

His potential southern European suitor wasn't the only one to take notice of his impressive second-half strikes, which have attracted more than six million views on Central Coast's Twitter account.

The 32-year-old was left stupefied when handed a drug test notice.

"I've retired from track and field, looking to become a professional footballer - but look at this," Bolt post on social media, zooming in on the letter.

"How am I going to get drug tested today? I'm not even a professional footballer. Seriously."

But it appears Bolt's unique situation comes under ASADA's testing protocol as athletes may be subject to collection both in and out of competition.

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt Source: Photosport


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England stun Spain in Nations League, win first game on La Roja turf since 1987

England stunned Spain 3-2 in the UEFA Nations League this morning, earning payback for its opening loss against La Roja and staying in contention for a spot in the final four.

Raheem Sterling ended his three-year scoring drought with England with goals on each side of Marcus Rashford's strike before the break, and England held on from 3-0 to earn its first win in Spain since 1987.

Spain suffered its first loss in a competitive match at home since 2003 against Greece. It hadn't lost at home in 27 matches, and had not conceded three goals in a home match since 1991 against Hungary, lost 4-2.

Paco Alcacer scored Spain's first goal early in the second half and Sergio Ramos' claimed the second on the final play of the match.

Despite the loss, Spain stayed ahead in Group 4 of the top-tier League A with two more points than England after three matches. Croatia, with a game in hand, has one point.

Spain could have secured a spot in the last four with a win, while a draw would have ended England's chances of advancing. Only the group winner moves on.

England's Raheem Sterling, left, celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between Spain and England at Benito Villamarin stadium, in Seville, Spain, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Miguel Morenatti)
England's Raheem Sterling, left, celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between Spain and England. Source: Associated Press


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