Football 3 years ago

Sarpong will fire anytime now: McGlinchey

  • Sarpong will fire anytime now: McGlinchey

It'll only take so much as a tap-in to get Wellington striker Jeffrey Sarpong's A-League career off the ground, Michael McGlinchey says.

Sarpong has had little impact since arriving in the A-League from Dutch outfit NAC Breda, scoring zero goals and managing only seven shots in as many games.

Coach Ernie Merrick has persisted with the 27-year-old Ghanaian, starting him six times.

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But following another lacklustre showing in Saturday's 2-1 away defeat at the hands of Western Sydney he singled Sarpong out for having trouble understanding the way the Phoenix play and being "not quite with it" in high-energy contests.

A few days later Merrick was not up for naming names, only indicating he wanted his forward line as a whole to show a more ruthless streak.

"To have success away from home and to be consistent, you've got to have players up front who are really competitive and want to have the ball," Merrick said in Sydney where the Phoenix are preparing for Thursday night's battle with Sydney FC.

"And if they don't have the ball they want to win the ball. I thought we had about three or four up for it.

"So without talking about any individuals, we've got to have more competitive players on the park."

Merrick did add he thought the A-League's standard was underrated by new imports, in much the same vein as Sarpong's fellow former Ajax youth product Roly Bonevacia's recent claim that the competition is faster than the Dutch top flight.

"You've seen some of the European teams have come out to play All Stars and clubs and have got a bit of a fright," Merrick said.

"They didn't know about our pace of the game and our competitive nature."

Playmaker McGlinchey, one of Wellington's main pathways to the net this season, predicted his new teammate would soon adjust.

"It takes a bit of time when foreign players come to any leagues," he said.

"He's still trying to find his feet, find his best position.

"It's just unfortunate he hasn't scored for us - a goal would give him all the confidence he needs.

"He just has to keep persevering with it, I'm sure he'll come good.

"Hopefully if he gets one, just a wee ricocheted tap-in or something, he can set off."

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