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It hasn’t been a happy season so far for Wellington Phoenix midfielder Daniel Lins Cortes, but the Brazilian hopes he will get the chance to take his frustrations out on the Newcastle Jets on Friday.
One of the first players to sign when the club was formed in 2007, Daniel was a regular in the starting line up and, indeed, scored the club’s first Hyundai A-League goal.
This season Daniel has had to be satisfied with playing a bit part on match day, and for four games sat on the substitutes’ bench without being called upon to play, apart from a two-minute cameo in the last home game against Perth Glory.
On Sunday against Melbourne Victory Daniel got his chance when given a half hour run as a substitute and quickly made an impression with his quick feet and eagerness to move the ball.
Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert said Daniel did himself no harm with an energetic display.
Today Daniel said he was hoping to get game time against the Jets, and would love to start the game.
“It is the first time in my five years here that I have had four games on the bench and not got on the field, apart from the minute or so against Perth when Lochy (Tony Lochhead) got injured,” Daniel said.
“Of course I wasn’t happy, and it was very frustrating, but I respect Ricki and the decisions he has to make.
“All I can do is train hard and if I do get an opportunity show what I can do.
“I want to play and when I was called upon in Melbourne I was raring to go.
“The last time I got a start was in Brisbane and wasn’t as well prepared as I could have been as I only found out I was playing when Dani (Sanchez) got injured in the warm up.”
With Nicky Ward ruled out of Friday’s game after being concussed against Victory, and Paul Ifill still extremely doubtful with a groin injury, there is every chance Daniel may get called into action.
“If I do I will be giving it everything I can to help the team and show Ricki what I can do,” he said.