Rivals ready for final

Waitakere United coach Paul Marshall and goalkeeper Danny Robinson came together with fellow finalists Auckland City coach Ramon Tribulietx and captain Ivan Vicelich for a pre-match press conference as they prepare for the final head-to-head, with both camps expecting a tough, close encounter.
With not only the OFC Champions League title at stake, but also a ticket to the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup on the line, the stakes are high as both sides chase one final win in the competition.
Veteran New Zealand international Vicelich said the mood in the Auckland City camp is good as the team has slowly been preparing themselves for the big game.
“Everyone is keen and excited. Having two good victories in a row in the semi-finals was a good lead up to the game this weekend,” he said.
Tribulietx said it has been a tough competition in which his side had some difficult matches but they are back to their best and fired up for the final.
“Obviously we are convinced that we know what we have to do. We have a lot of respect for Waitakere as they have been very good this year. We know the game’s going to be very tough but we just hope that we can compete well and get away with a win,” Tribulietx said.
“Waitakere have been a very good rival this year and probably better than us in terms of results. I think we’ve competed very well against them. Every game’s been very tight so again, we are confident that we know what we have to do to be competitive in the game. We’re not scared – this is part of the game.
“The good thing for us is that we have recovered from those defeats, not only against them but against other teams, and we are back into a bit of cruise control. We are back into doing things that we know work for us and this is our aim for Sunday – try to do the things we know work for us and try and be as competitive as possible.”
Waitakere United coach Paul Marshall expects this to be like any match against Auckland City – tight.
“It’s no secret that we’ve played six times this year and we’ve won four, drawn one and lost one. We are full of confidence and I am extremely confident with this group of players we’re very fortunate at Waitakere we have a great mix of players, we have the ability to change our game from keeping the ball to going a little bit more direct and because of that we’re able to cause any team problems.
“We’ve got some pace that I think at times Auckland City struggle with and we’ll be looking to exploit a bit of that at the weekend as well. We’re pretty confident, and we will do well if we play well.
“I’m sure the players are going into this game with high levels of confidence, but then this group goes into every game with high levels of confidence. This is a different game, because it’s a grand-final, and there’s a level of composure and calmness that’s required by all players. Because it’s a different feel a grand-final of this nature, and with what the result of the game means. If we get some of those things right and if the boys perform right, then we will do well.”
For goalkeeper Robinson while there may be a friendly rivalry between the two sides off the pitch, once the whistle blows it becomes a little less friendly.
“This will be the seventh time against Auckland City this season and you do start getting to know the way these guys play. The lads at Auckland City they are all high quality players and I think for me, they can all do different things at any one time so you can’t really prepare for one thing or another. You’ve just got to be prepared for all options when it comes to things like shots,” Robinson said.
The OFC Champions League Final kicks-off at 3.45pm at Arena 2 of Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand on Sunday, 19 May 2013. The winner of the OFC Champions League Final will qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013.


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