A-League top scorer Adam le Fondre feels Sydney FC are still in the race for the A-League premiership, ahead of their clash with a Wellington side he rates highly.
The Sky Blues know they are running out of time to make up ground on top two sides Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory.
Their chances of securing the Premiers' Plate for a third consecutive season have taken a big hit over the past two games when they have dropped points to the league's bottom two sides.
Steve Corica's side lost 2-1 to Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium, and needed to come from behind at home last weekend to earn a point in a 1-1 draw with Central Coast.
They'll certainly need to raise their game against the Phoenix, who beat them 3-1 in Sydney earlier in the season.
The head-to-head record is split this season, with the Sky Blues having won 1-0 in the Kiwi capital last month.
"If you're not on your game, they'll punish you," Le Fondre said of Mark Rudan's side. "We've seen that at Kogarah we weren't quite at it and missed a couple of chances early on, they took their chances and it was game over really and we were fighting an uphill battle."
The former Reading striker moved back to the top of the A-League's Golden Boot standings when he scored the equaliser against the Mariners.
However, the two points dropped means they are now 11 points behind Perth albeit with a game in hand.
Both of their remaining meetings with the top two are at home, and le Fondre said of their position: "I don't think we're going to chuck the towel in and go 'here, you can have it'.
"There's no point in saying in eight games time we'll have won all eight - let's just go next game, take care of that and move onto the next game and the next game, build some momentum and assault Perth; that's all you can do."
The Sky Blues are 8/13 to win their game against the Phoenix, who are 4/1, with the draw 10/3.
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