Wellington Phoenix players are on a high after their fans rallied behind them at a time of uncertainty and they are looking forward to Western Sydney Wanderers fans generating plenty of atmosphere at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday.
Greg Prichard

19 Nov 2015 - 10:52 AM  UPDATED 19 Nov 2015 - 10:52 AM

Phoenix goalkeeper Glen Moss said that even away from home you would rather feel the buzz of a big crowd than not.

"We always look forward to playing the Wanderers, especially in Sydney because we love a good atmosphere and the fans there are among the best in the league," Moss said.

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Phoenix are probably the second favourite team for many supporters of the other nine clubs in the A-League at the moment while their long-term future in the competition remains uncertain after they were denied a 10-year licence.

Football fans in New Zealand and Australia have rallied behind the "Save the Nix" campaign and Wellington attracted a crowd of 13,654 for its game against Adelaide United at Westpac Stadium last Friday.

It was more than double what Phoenix had attracted to each of its previous two home games and the players responded to the support with a 4-2 win.

"It was probably the most enjoyable game I've played in and the best atmosphere I've experienced at home since the Phoenix's first-ever game in the competition," Moss said.

"I remember that first day well, it was a big crowd, and to get another big crowd last week was obviously very important to us. We've had great support at home and from people in Australia as well.

"The whole build-up through last week was fantastic. Walking through the streets you had people coming up to you and saying 'hey, well done guys, we're coming to the game, can't wait for it'.

"We haven't felt that kind of support for a regular league game for a long time. It was a lot of excitement, big crowd, perfect night and the boys did the work on the field and everyone went home happy.

"The whole experience has put us in a great mood for this trip to Australia."

Wellington are going all-out for a double whammy. They will stay in Sydney after the Wanderers match to prepare for their next game, against Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Thursday.

"We'll recover well on Sunday after the Wanderers game on Saturday and then train Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday for Thursday's game without any travel getting in the way," Moss said.

"We'll definitely feel a lot fresher. We've stayed over for doubles like this before and done well. We came over on Boxing Day in 2013 and beat Melbourne Heart the next day and then beat Wanderers on New Year's Day.

"It's always good for team bonding and we bring a few extra players across as well in case anything happens in the first game. We're already a very tight-knit group because we spend so much time together travelling and this just makes it tighter."

But it's going to be tough against Wanderers, who have won three games in a row. Phoenix and Wanderers are among four teams on 10 points, covering third to sixth places. Wanderers are fourth and Wellington sixth.

"They're a team that is on the rise at the moment, so this is going to be a good game, I reckon," Moss said. 

"Both sides like to play attacking, free-flowing football.

"They've got some great players in top form, like Mitch Nichols. It was only going to be a matter of time before they started winning with the quality they've got in their side, so we have to be right on our game because they look pretty confident at the moment."

Moss knows though, who is driving Wellington's game forward.

"I think Michael McGlinchey is one of the best players in the league at the moment," Moss said.

"He's been sensational for us and a lot of his hard work goes unnoticed. A lot of his movement off the ball.

"Then there is Roly Bonevacia, who is doing a great job as well and scoring screamers, but for me Michael McGlinchey is just the complete player."