VIDEO: ‘Building relationships’ is behind Phoenix coach’s flying start

New men’s head coach Giancarlo Italiano says a people-first approach has helped the Wellington Phoenix to their best start to an A-League season since the club started 17 years ago.

“I want them (the players) to be in an environment where they’re happy to come and the best version of themselves, that’s my style,” he told 1News.

“I look back at all my coaching seasons, yes, the tactical side is great but for me it’s about building relationships. That’s the most rewarding thing.”

Italiano told reporter Victor Walters his squad had used pre-season criticism. from commentators and pundits as a motivator.

“It’s given us a platform for something to work off and I know that sounds counter intuitive but if people write you off, the only people that can get you out is the group itself so we use it as fuel.”

The A-League leaders get their chance to extend their unbeaten start to seven games when they host Newcastle Jets at Sky Stadium on Saturday (7.30pm).

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Watch 1News story


Game to be played on December 9, 2023

Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets
Sky Stadium, Wellington, 7.30pm (NZT)

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