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Phoenix re-focus for Berisha's Victory

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/01/2017 Cathy Walshe

Co-coaches Des Buckingham (L) and Chris Greenacre of the Phoenix © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Co-coaches Des Buckingham (L) and Chris Greenacre of the Phoenix With or without top goal-scorer Besart Berisha, Melbourne Victory pose a huge challenge for Wellington Phoenix on Tuesday, co-coach Des Buckingham says.

Wellington have just three days to re-set and re-focus after Saturday's wind-swept 1-0 win over Central Coast Mariners, the first of three home fixtures in eight days.

Buckingham was happy to pick up three points for Wellington's fourth win of the season, a victory which bumped them one place up the ladder into seventh place.

But he says there's little time to dwell on the win, with the second-placed Victory making the trip across the Tasman to play the seventh round match postponed after the November 14 earthquake.

Melbourne are awaiting the match review panel's assessment of Berisha's dismissal in Friday's 3-2 win over Brisbane Roar, which followed off-the-ball contact between the Albanian's arm and Brisbane defender Luke DeVere's face.

Buckingham says plans are in place whether or not the league's top scorer takes the field.

"With the short turnaround, we planned on him to be in it, and if he's not we've got enough about us to set up otherwise."

Wellington will be back to full strength with the return of Roy Krishna from suspension.

"He'll give us that extra fire power - he's our leading goal-scorer and the guy with the most assists, so we'll welcome him back," Buckingham said.

Buckingham and fellow coach Chris Greenacre, who took over for the remainder of the season following Ernie Merrick's resignation last month, have the luxury of a fully fit squad to choose from.

Michael McGlinchey returned from a two-month injury break to score Saturday's winning goal, Vince Lia is back from suspension and Gui Finkler from a brief trip home to Brazil for family reasons.

Roly Bonevacia impressed in Saturday's win as Finkler made his impact from the bench, leaving Buckingham and Greenacre a welcome selection headache ahead of the Victory game.

"It's a fantastic position for this football club to be in," Buckingham said.

"It's something this team has lacked possibly over the last couple of seasons, but now we've got that depth in the squad.

"It's a great selection headache."

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