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McGlinchey form gives Phoenix midfield dilemma against Victory

Midfielder Michael McGlinchey has added another question mark to Wellington Phoenix's coaching conundrum ahead of Sunday's A-League clash away to Melbourne Victory.

He's worked through an injury-restricted season for the Phoenix as an attacking midfielder, playing only three full games, with the last one a fifth-round 2-0 win over the Newcastle Jets in early November.

But McGlinchey has signaled an emphatic return to form after turning in two impressive 90-minute efforts for the All Whites earlier this week.

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The 30-year-old was used as a holding midfielder in both 2-0 wins over Fiji, on Sunday in Lautoka and two days later in Wellington.

Co-coach Des Buckingham says he and Chris Greenacre have a variety of options in the midfield.

"We've got five players fighting for two positions when we do choose to play that two-hold role," he said.

"There's no reason Mikey McGinchey can't be one of those two players."

Jacob Tratt has also returned to bolster Wellington's back line, and although skipper Andrew Durante was still icing a calf injury on Thursday, he's expected to play.

Buckingham and Greenacre have some difficult decisions to make ahead of the Victory match.

Wellington Phoenix's Michael McGlinchey
Michael McGlinchey will be hoping to start against Melbourne Victory on Sunday.

With six front-line players missing on international duty with the All Whites, the Nix turned in their best result of the season in thumping Newcastle Jets 5-0 thumping last Sunday.

"The players that came in stepped up and put in a really good performance," Buckingham said.

"It's going to be a very hard selection problem for Chris and I."

Last week's stand-in skipper Vince Lia says while the big win was encouraging, there's no chance of the Phoenix getting too carried away.

"We're still seventh, it's only one win," he said.

"It's going to be a bigger test away to Melbourne Victory than it was on Sunday, but we're up for it."

Wellington's results against the second-placed Victory this season have veered between the sublime and the ridiculous -- a 3-0 win in mid-January offset by a horrendous late October 6-1 thumping.

Lia is well aware of the challenge, but says the Phoenix are up for it.

"We know that if we can set up defensively well and we're good with the ball, we can beat anyone," he said.

"They're a team that attacks well, but there's space in behind if you're good enough with the ball to exploit it.

"That's our goal for this weekend."


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