Much is being made of Paul Ifill’s attempt to overcome Shane Smeltz as Wellington Phoenix’ leading goal scorer when they take on Perth Glory at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.
Both players have netted 21 times for the Wellington club and Ifill would love to upstage Smeltz while they are on the same pitch, but for him the most important thing is taking three points.
“We’ve got to get our home form back on track,” Ifill said.
“It doesn’t matter who scores as long as someone puts the ball in the net.
“We had some good chances last week in Morwell and didn’t take any so everyone needs to step up.
“Brownie (Tim Brown) is only one goal behind Smeltzy and myself and if he scores two on Saturday and overtakes us both I’ll be the first to congratulate him.”
Talking about the “duel” between himself and Smeltz, it is obvious Ifill respects his fellow striker.
“I think Shane is the best striker in the league,” Ifill said.
“His goal to game record is exceptional and he is the type of player who doesn’t seem to be doing much and suddenly he has put the ball in your net.
“We are different types of players but it would be pleasing to get the Phoenix record off him. I’m lucky he can’t get any more for the club.
“If I stay fit the goal will come eventually.”
Ifill predicts the Wellington back four will have to be on their toes against Smeltz and his strike partner, Billy Mehmet.
“That pair will make things tough for our back four,” Ifill said.
“I don’t think the best has been seen of Billy yet. He has lost weight since he trialled with us and is looking sharper.
“It is up to the rest of us to take some pressure off the defence by scoring goals.”
The game kicks off at 5pm on Saturday at Westpac Stadium.