Patterson loan boosts Phoenix

01 February 2018 04:42:17 EST

Wellington Phoenix have signed New Zealand international striker Monty Patterson on loan from Ipswich Town.

The Phoenix have brought in the 21-year-old until the end of the A-League season, as they attempt to push for a Finals Series berth.

Patterson, who has played 13 times for the All Whites, arrives at Westpac Stadium at a time when Wellington are struggling for goals, while they saw leading scorer Andrija Kaludjerovic pick up an injury in last weekend's 1-0 home defeat to Adelaide United.

Dario Vidosic, who had provided a goal threat from midfield since the start of the season, walked out just before Christmas and the Phoenix last week allowed fringe striker Hamish Watson to leave.

Patterson has made just one appearance for Ipswich this season, in the Carabao Cup defeat at Crystal Palace in August, and is off contract at the end of this season.

He has previously had two loan spells with English National League side Braintree Town.

"I'm really excited," said Auckland-born Patterson. "It's such a great chance to play competitive football in a quality league, and it's so special doing it back home with the only professional team from my country.

"I've developed a lot in my five years in England, it's such a physically demanding game over here - you have to be powerful, a strong athlete to compete in the Championship - even just training with some of these boys day-in, day-out has helped me improve my play, my decision making a lot."

Wellington have also confirmed the signing of Perth-born keeper Tando Velaphi, who arrives from Japanese side Shonan Bellmare.

The Phoenix are 7/1 to win their next game against Sydney FC, who are 2/5, with the draw 7/2.

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