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Tratt readies for Victory battle

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/10/2016 Cathy Walshe
Jacob Tratt © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Jacob Tratt

Young Australian Jacob Tratt's pre-game preparation for the Phoenix's fourth-round match against Melbourne Victory looks set to be lot easier than usual.

The 22-year-old right back likes to do his homework ahead of each A-League game, gathering information about his opposition ahead of time to make sure he's at his best on game day.

Against the Victory on Monday, Tratt will be tracking former Phoenix striker Marco Rojas, and will be able to draw on his teammates - particularly those who play in the All Whites with Rojas - for the inside gen.

"I try to do a bit of research against each player that I'm coming up against," Tratt told media on Wednesday.

A viewing of Victory's 2-0 FFA Cup loss to Melbourne City on Tuesday is on the agenda, and Tratt will also be studying Mitch Austin and Fahid Ben Khalfallah, who provide a potent threat down the left.

"There's a lot to look into."

At 1.90m, Tratt adds extra height to the Phoenix back line, where he is improving rapidly playing alongside experienced central defenders Andrew Durante and Marco Rossi.

The Phoenix skipper has been vocal directing Tratt around the park, but the former Sydney FC defender has no problems with that.

"It's good - I'm new and I need to learn and learn quickly. I'm just cherishing every moment by his side and trying to learn as much as I can."

Adding extra urgency to Tratt's A-League education is the fact that Wellington are yet to register a win - or a goal - three weeks into the new season.

Sunday's third-round 1-0 loss to Sydney FC in Wellington was particularly disappointing, with Tratt blaming himself for Milos Ninkovic's 92nd-minute winner.

"I guess it was a lapse in concentration. I put myself at fault, to be honest," Tratt said.

"It's a lesson learned, and it won't happen again - you've got to be switched on for the full 95 minutes, because one little lapse in concentration can cost you a game."

Despite the Phoenix's goal drought, Tratt has no doubt Wellington are close to turning things around.

"I'm confident the boys up front and in the midfield are going to get the job done," he said.

"We've got the players all over the pitch to score goals. It's going to happen - it's just a matter of time."

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