Figueira calls for more composure

Words: ACFC Media

Sunday 19 January 2020

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC coach Jose Figueira's dominant start to his Navy Blues career continued as his side beat Hawke's Bay United 4-2 in an at times topsy-turvy encounter.

Auckland City FC scored four goals but could've conceded more than two on a game that went back-and-forth on a sweltering summer's day at Kiwitea Street.

Figueira spoke to his players in the centre circle immediately after final whistle.

"I've just spoken to the players that we've had ten games now and every game we're not going to win cleanly and have our own way.

"Today was a good reminder that games such as next week against Team Wellington - and the bigger games to come - that teams can put the heat on and make our life very difficult and that we've got to stay composed and connected.

"We've got to iron out a little bit of sloppiness that was there in the game today.

"At the same time the character and attitude and the goals we scored today were fantastic. The message for today is a bit of a shot in the arm and reminder we can't let out standards slip and we've got to be really focused right throughout the game," he said.

One challenge for Figueira is accommodating his talented squad with players desperate for minutes on the pitch.

Today saw Clayton Lewis get another start while Enaut Zubikarai came back into the team for just his second appearance of the season.

Albert Riera made his first appearance since the OFC Champions League semi-final defeat to AS Magenta on April 29, 2019. 

"It's always difficult when you're trying to plan ahead and give players minutes when the games are tough but today they served their purpose in terms of their match fitness.

AUDIO - "Unbeaten run continues" - Jose Figueira

"It's nice to see Albert back out there with some nice touches and control just when we needed it. But it's another good win, the unbeaten run continues and other results have gone our way today at the top of the table that gives us a little bit of breathing space. It gives us a bit more appetite to kick on for more," he said.

Myer Bevan and Cam Howieson both picked up their fourth caution of the season and now stand on the threshold of suspension but Figueira said that situation wouldn't factor into his thinking ahead of the game in Wellington.

Auckland City FC's next game sees the premiership title race pressure ramp up when the Navy Blues travel to the capital
to take on Team Wellington at David Farrington Park on Sunday 26 January 2020.

The match kicks off 4.00pm NZST and is live on Sky Sport.

Ends

Match Results
ISPS Handa Premiership
Sunday 19 January 2020
Auckland City FC 4 (Myer BEVAN 37'-pen, 65', Angel BERLANGA 38')
Hawke's Bay United 2 (Bill ROBERTSON 34', Angus KILKOLLY 54')
HT: 1-2.

AC: 1. Enaut ZUBIKARAI (GK), 2. Mario ILICH (8. Albert RIERA 71'), 3. Adam MITCHELL, 4. Mario BILEN, 5. Angel BERLANGA (c), 7. Cam HOWIESON, 9. Myer BEVAN, 10. Dylan MANICKUM, 14. Jordan VALE, 22. Clayton LEWIS (20. Logan ROGERSON 73'), 23. Alfie ROGERS.

SUBS NOT USED: 24. Cam BROWN (GK), 6. Brian KALTAK, 21. Maro BONSU-MARO.

COACH: Jose FIGUEIRA.

Other results:

Saturday 18 January 2020
Tasman United 5-0 Southern United

Sunday 19 January 2020
Canterbury United 1-6 Eastern Suburbs AFC
Hamilton Wanderers 1-0 Team Wellington
Wellington Phoenix 3-4 Waitakere United

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