Words: ACFC Media
Tuesday 16 March 2021
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC skipper Cam Howieson says Navy Blues are optimistic as the club prepares for the ISPS Handa Premiership grand final on Sunday.
The Navy Blues overcame a stubborn Eastern Suburbs AFC by 2-1 in a tight semi-final made all the more difficult following a raft of spurned chances.
"We've made that very hard for ourselves. We've played a really good game and created a lot but we need to take the chances we create.
"Its been that way throughout the season but as long as we're creating chances when it comes down to knock out football you have to be ruthless and we saw that in the last 20 minutes.
AUDIO INTERVIEW - Cam Howieson
"Its always a tough battle against Eastern Suburbs AFC, its never going to be an easy game and it was like that today. they're a top class side and I wish them all the best for the new season.
"But now we look ahead to the game with Team Wellington next Sunday and hopefully we can cap off the season with the ISPS Handa Premiership grand final title," Howieson told www.aucklandcityfc.com.
Auckland City FC struck the post in the second half and also saw Danyon Drake pull off one unbelievable save from a Brian Kaltak header. Drake also denied Dylan Manickum in a one-on-one in the first half, a save Howieson remembered as key.
"Danyon is a great keeper and he's pulled off a wonderful save in the first half with his legs from Dylan Manickum and he's kept Suburbs in the game throughout.
"In big moments keepers stand up and he's done that and given his side a good chance to come back," he said.
Next Sunday's final looms large on the horizon as the ISPS Handa Premiership concludes forever, but Howieson is adamant that the Navy Blues go into the grand final in a good place.
"Our preparation and attitude to the game will be no different, we're going to go out there next week and enjoy ourselves, we're a positive team and we have confidence going into the game and so we should.
"Since we came back from Christmas we've been in good form and despite a couple of lockdowns we've maintained our consistency and we'll be going into the final full of confidence and hopefully we can get the win," he said.
Sunday's grand final is live on Sky Sport 7.
The match takes place on Sunday 21 March and kicks off at 3pm NZDT.
ISPS Handa Premiership Grand Final
Sunday 21 March 2021
Auckland City FC v Team Wellington
North Harbour Stadium, Albany
Kick-off: 3.00pm NZDT
Live on Sky Sport 7
Sunday 4 December 2022, Wellington Olympic, Mount Smart Stadium